Rugby players and MMA fighters have a strong connection because they need similar qualities like strength, endurance, and mental toughness. Just like Alexander Volkanovski, some rugby players have become successful MMA fighters by using their physical abilities and grappling skills. On the other hand, MMA fighters learn from rugby and include tackling techniques and conditioning exercises in their training to improve. Both sports value discipline, teamwork, and a strong competitive spirit, which shows how they are connected. 

Another thing that some rugby players and MMA fighters have in common is that they are avid bettors in their downtime, with many enjoying a night out at a casino or playing at online casinos from the comfort of their own homes. But, who are some of the rugby stars that enjoy a regular flutter on casino games?

Sebastian Chabal

There are few more passionate gambling rugby players in the world than French star Sebastian Chabal. The Frenchman is revered as one of the most intimidating players to play the sport, and is nicknamed ‘the caveman’. Chabal is a passionate poker player, having played in a number of tournaments across the world.  We are pretty sure that to find the best French online casinos to play poker, he definitely checks out the online casino reviews. The star is also a frequent visitor to some of the biggest gambling establishments in Monaco. Chabal has played professional rugby for over 16 years and has won some of the most prestigious honors. He landed English Premiership glory during his time with Sale, before winning the Six Nations in 2007 with France.

Chabal was also part of the French team that finished fourth at the 2007 World Cup. The number eight played 62 times for France, scoring 30 points during an international career that spun over eleven years.

Shane Williams

Shane Williams is regarded as one of the greatest wingers to have played the sport, but gambling is a pastime that the Welsh player enjoyed as much as the sport. Williams hasn’t made significant gains from betting on casino games, but he is a massive fan of poker. He is often pictured at casinos around the United Kingdom and has played in major poker tournaments throughout his life. However, he exited on both occasions in the tournament in the opening round.

The 46-year-old remains the record try scorer for his nation and is fourth on the all-time international list for the number of test tries. Williams also holds the most caps by a winger for Wales and was selected as the World Rugby Player of the Year in 2008. Williams also appeared for the British and Irish Lions on four occasions between 2005 and 2013, scoring ten points.

Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall’s rugby career is often overlooked given that he is married to Zara Phillips. However, Tindall was an esteemed rugby star throughout his career, having played outside center for Bath and Gloucester. He made over 100 appearances for both teams, scoring 160 points for Bath and 110 for Gloucester. Tindall was also part of the 2003 England side that won the Six Nations, and later the World Cup.

Tindall has been an active bettor throughout his career, having regularly attended nights out at casinos. However, his main passion for betting stems from his love of horse racing. Tindall is often seen attending some of the biggest horse racing events on the calendar, including all five days at Royal Ascot, as part of his Royal Responsibilities. The former rugby star is also an active visitor to Cheltenham throughout the season and the Grand National festival at Aintree.

David Susigan

David Susigan is one of the most successful rugby players at casino games, as he has a number of esteemed victories when it comes to big money returns at poker. That was evident a number of years ago when he won over $317,000 in one poker sitting. He also showcased his poker skills once again in 2015, as he won over $140,000 at a separate poker tournament on the calendar. Unlike other players on this list, Susan wasn’t the most celebrated rugby player throughout his career, but he did play at the French club Castanet for a long period of his career. But, he never played international rugby at any point, and he is best known for his success in poker.

Final Thoughts 

Rugby players and MMA fighters have a special connection that goes beyond their physical strength and mental toughness. They inspire each other, with rugby players finding success in MMA and MMA fighters learning from rugby techniques. Many rugby players also enjoy gambling, especially poker and casino games, and they might even enjoy betting on MMA fights. Even though gambling is a different interest, it adds excitement to their sports careers. These rugby players have made their mark in both rugby and gambling, showing their skills and passion in different areas of competition.