Arthur is an ex-Rugby League player who could have still been playing were he not barred for life for violent conduct. The disciplinary board-member who pushed for his ban, Reg, is the manager of a sevens team, the Cobblers; a team he is so proud of, he reckons they are unbeatable.
In a fit of piqued pride, Arthur bets Reg his house that he can coach any team to beat the Cobblers, with Reg to name the team. He does; the team from the Wheatsheaf Arms, a sevens team so poor they can only field four, and whose place in the record books is held by never having won a game. Arthur now has five weeks to train the Stragglers to take on the Cobblers in their head-to-head, in an all-or-nothing battle with pride, ambition and livelihoods at stake.
With its title taken from a type of kick in rugby – where a player punts the ball as high into the air beyond his opponents' line and hopes against hope he can catch it on its way down – Up 'n' Under was first performed at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, in 1984.