In 1993 he graduated with a BA degree in English and Related Literature at the University of York, where he was a member of Derwent College for whom he was an enthusiastic rugby player.???? This entry has been edited on October 15th, 2010. Up until then, there's been no mention of rugby anywhere.
This was Earth-shattering for me. Could James have an athletic past I had no idea of? My teeth clattered, my brain chattered. (It may have had to do with being drunk, in part, but come on.) Toby laughed his ass off. He couldn't believe I found it anything but hilarious - tiny James in such a tough contact sport, probably getting battered!
Upon further inspection, I found nothing on James and rugby. Other than this: ... wait, where is it now? It was a 2006 interview where he mentioned that his teachers taught rugby wonderfully but weren't as good with science. But this was school, not college, as far as I can tell. I'll um, link to it once I find it. This is all very confusing. Maybe I dreamt up that interview.
There are three options:
1. Random Wikipedia vandalism (like the time his entry read "Callis is Christ" instead of "Callis is Jewish")
2. One of his contemporaries decided to add this snippet of information, which he wants to keep secret (??)
3. He's been confused with Jamie Bamber, who did play rugby for his college.
If we get no clarification, I'm going to assume this is Wikipedia vandalism. Mind you, I could see James doing some sports. He's mentioned horseback riding, swimming, running; I can see him doing any of these. But rugby sounds incredibly rough for such a small guy. Until he was about 30, he was very skinny indeed. So could he have been an athlete? Hmm yes or no... All pictures I've seen of rugby players, they're super muscular. But maybe that's just professional rugby. I really have no idea.
Edit: Robyn informs me that rugby is more of a "gentleman's game" in the UK, rather than a big bloodbath. So it's feasible James would have played. The plot thickens!
I took the liberty of drawing my idea of how such a rugby match might end up. Note James' enthusiastic attitude on the game. (I didn't go to much detail here, but you get the idea.)
(umm, just to clarify, the muscular guys are NOT naked. I just didn't bother to color them much.)