Stop Nagging: He's World Cup Material!

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Our very own in-house doctor, Bernadine Healy, had her official party to roll out her new book Living Time: Faith and Facts to Transform Your Cancer Journey Tuesday night at Capitol Hill's trendy Sonoma Restaurant.

Her friends and readers praised the book, unfortunately timely considering the recurrence of cancer in Tony Snow and Elizabeth Edwards. It's a great story about how she fought and survived the Big C and offers those facing a similar test a rare doctor's view of what it's all about.

But when she took the stage to talk about her Random House release, it was that really big guy with a black eye behind her that caught our attention. Turns out it's her future son-in-law, Adam Russell, 35. Healy noted that he got the shiner playing rugby, something she joked about disapproving of. "It's not good for your bones," said the doctor. "I'm already a nagging mother-in-law."

Russell and Healy
Adam Russell, left, and Dr. Bernadine Healy.
PAUL BEDARD FOR USN&WR

Russell, who is marrying Healy's daughter Bartlett in two weeks, said he didn't want to come because of his black eye but duty called. And, he said, "rugby has been very good to me."

It turns out that this guy isn't some weekend mud brawler: He's eyeing the U.S. Rugby Team, the Eagles, which is headed to Paris in September for the Rugby World Cup. Who even knew there was world cup rugby? Well, thanks to a few minutes with Russell, I'm in. Go Eagles!

This guy knows rugby: He played for Oxford University and also in Scotland. Russell says he's going to push hard to join the Eagles in what he considers his last year in pro-level rugby. "If the coach thinks that I have something to contribute, then I'd be inclined to believe him. Then again, if my mother-in-law says she'd disown me, I'd have to believe her, too," he kids.

Russell told us that winning the world cup would be a bit of a stretch considering that most European nations have pro teams. Worse: The U.S. plays England, the current cup holder, in the second match. Here's an analogy: a Division II college football team playing the Super Bowl champs, the Indianapolis Colts. Tough but not scary for the U.S. team. "I think that's the way we like it," says Russell, who credits a swift boot in the face for his black eye. "The U.S. guys will punch above their weight."