Rugby for all

The sport of rugby

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Rugby in general |

The Sport of Rugby

The sport is officially known as rugby union, but it is known to many as only rugby. The sport started out in the United Kingdom, specifically in England around the start of the 19th century. It is a type of contact sport with two opposing teams consisting of 15 players each. The goal of the game is to get more points than the opposing team by either licking goals or scoring ties. A single game can last up to 80 minutes of playing time. According to Sporteology, rugby union is the ninth most popular sports on the basis of the number of viewers. It currently has around 390 to 410 million fans around the world and the countries where rugby is popular include England, of course, France, South Africa and New Zealand so from time to time, expect some rugby union news in ESPN, especially during the Rugby World Cup. As of last count, there are about eighteen thousand rugby union clubs and approximately two million three hundred sixty thousand registered rugby union players worldwide.

Rugby-9Rugby union was already played even before written rules were made in the year 1845. The “rules” of the game kept changing before then. William Webb Ellis played the game and ran with the ball, a rule which was not adopted until seven years after he did it. Running the ball only became an accepted play in 1830. The first rugby balls used were completely round and changed over time until it became the oval shape that it is today. The ball is made of a pig’s bladder so it first came in various sizes.

Rugby union trainings are quite rigorous and intense, especially if the players are training for the World Cup. The Rugby World Cup is the most important tournament of the sport and like the FIFA World Cup, it is also held every four years among the national rugby union teams in different countries around the world. The last tournament was held in 2011 and the cup is being held by New Zealand. This year’s World Cup will be hosted by England from September 18 to October 31. What’s interesting is no single country has retained a World Cup trophy.

There are two other major international rugby union tournaments: the Six Nations Championship and The Rugby Championship. The Six Nations Champions
hip is a yearly tournament of six European countries, namely, England, Scotland, France, Wales, Ireland and Italy. The Rugby Championship is also played yearly, but this time, the teams are from countries located in the Southern hemisphere. It used to be known as Tri Nations because only three countries were involved in the tournament: Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. However, in 2012, the three countries invited the Argentine Rugby Union; thus, the name of the tournament was changed to The Rugby Championship.

Wimages (2)omen have also played rugby union. It began in 1982 and since then, there have been over six hundred international rugby union games played by women in more than forty different countries.