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Rugby Union 101

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Rugby competitions |


A lot of people only know it as either rugby, rugger or even call it football at times but rugby’s official name is actually rugby union. This sport was initially conceived in England in the 19th century. This contact sport is played together with a ball that is oval shaped, usually made of a pig’s bladder. In rugby union, there are two teams playing against each other and these two teams are composed of fifteen players each. Rugby union since its inception has become one of the most widely played (there are more than 2 million rugby union players spread out over 18 thousand rugby union clubs in the worldwide registry) and widely viewed sports around the world and when international tournaments are being played, rugby union news is the one headlining the sports sections of newspapers in the countries where they are severely popular. The British helped expand the popularity and gameplay of rugby union not only to its neighboring European Countries like France, but also in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It has then continued to spread to much of Polynesia and is currently enjoying immense popularity in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.


Before the rules of rugby union were officially written and compiled, it was played and was often confused with another sport, which was football (soccer).  The history of rugby union often points to William Webb Ellis, an English boy who single handedly invented the game of rugby football when he first ran off with the ball. The official set of written rules were only established in the year 1845 and even then, the rules continued to change from time to time.

PUMA_AW11_RUGBY_PRO_TRY-0139_13x19Before the World Cup commences, players undergo extreme rugby union trainings to prepare themselves for the tournament. The Rugby World Cup is also held every four years, similar to FIFA’s World Cup.  The Rugby World Cup is the holy grail of rugby union tournaments and is played by a lot of national rugby union teams in several different nations worldwide. As of the moment, the World Cup’s owner is New Zealand, which they won in 2011 when the tournament was hosted by France. This year, the Rugby World Cup will go back to its homeland and the tournament will be hosted by England.

Rugby World Cup

Aside from the Rugby World Cup, there are other international rugby union tournaments that are highly anticipated by rugby union fans and these games are actually held annually. These are The Rugby Championship and the Six Nations Championship. There are also several major national tournaments of the sport held in several different countries: the Currie Cup in South Africa, the ITM Cup in New Zealand, the Top 14 in France and the English Premiership which is of course held in England.

The top most item used in playing rugby union is the ball. Its shape is officially a prolate spheroid composed of four panels. Old rugby ball used to be made of leather, but as of present, they are already made of synthetic materials.


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