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Busy Weekend of Rugby/Squash in the Lead Up to Olympic Decision

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I was in Farnham, west of London on Saturday, filming for the Total Rugby programme which is aired on Sky Sports. They asked if I would talk about and compare rugby and squash, at the same time publicizing squash's plight for Olympic status.

The producers drafted in John Brake, a member of the England Rugby sevens squad, to play a game of squash with me and in turn he attempted to teach me the basic principles of passing the rugby ball. I suspect I may be a lost cause on that front, but he did well.

Rugby sevens got the nod ahead of squash for inclusion for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

It was a real insight for both of us to swap ideas on training and our lives as professional sportsmen. I find interaction with other professional athletes fascinating and there is often mutual respect when each can appreciate the effort that goes in to playing a brutal physical sport. Sevens is a relentless game which requires, like squash, incredible physical capacity.

The programme will be aired on Sky Sports 2 on Wednesday evening (4th Sept) at 5pm and repeated on Thursday at 2.30am and 7am on sky sports 4 and 11am and 2.30pm on sky sports 2.

By Saturday afternoon I was heading for Edgbaston Priory Squash Club in Birmingham, one of the most famous squash clubs in the country and scene of the great Jonah Barrington British Open win against Geoff Hunt in 1969. I played an exhibition match against my England Teammate Daryl Selby on the new courts. I hadn't been to the club for a few years and hardly recognized the place. What a facility it is now, and it was excellent before. We were received so warmly by all the members and the coaches, Mike Edwards and Mike Harris. There is no doubt squash is in good hands in Edgbaston.

On Sunday it was back to Pontefract for the finals of the Lesley Willstrop Doubles tournament. I am always touched by the support the event gets from the many competitors. The club oozes spirit and goodwill every time the event takes place at the end of summer. Terry Dudley runs proceedings as well as he ever has. It's a unique event - people of all ages and sizes turn out in all sorts of weird and wonderful guises. Fancy dress is often favoured by some teams. It's a great credit to mum and I like to think she would have loved to play in the event.

James' book 'Shot and a Ghost' is available from willstrop.co.uk or on kindle.