The Rugby Union, commonly referred to simply as rugby, is a full-contact team sport that originated in the first half of the 19th century in England. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. A rugby union player is known as a “rugby player”, a “full-back”, a “fly-half”, a “lock”, a “number 8”, a “loose-forward” or “back-row” and a “winger”. “Number 8” is a catch-all term for several positions that are primarily “wingers”, a specialist term used primarily in American and Australian rugby union. It is currently the world’s sixth most popular team sport, and has a large following in Australia as well as New Zealand. The first rugby football match was played in 1823 and this, together with the fact that rugby is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, has led to it being recognised as the national sport of Australia. New Zealanders, who regard themselves as the greatest fans of rugby, consider the All Blacks to be the greatest team in the history of the sport.
Rugby is now played worldwide by amateur and professional players, both men and women, and a wide range of rules have been developed over time. The All Blacks are the most successful team in world rugby union, having won three World Cup titles and an unprecedented 46 of their games since their inaugural tournament in 1987, whereas Australia, the team New Zealand most recently beat in a Rugby World Cup, has never won a World Cup. Rugby union is popular on an international level, but not at an elite level; it has been described as “the world’s second most popular team sport after association football” and is widely recognised as the world’s second most popular team sport after association football. In 2016, rugby union was chosen by the Australian Olympic Committee as its seventh of eight core team sports, meaning it is one of only three sports in which Australia has no Olympic representation.
Rugby, football game played with an oval ball by two teams of 15 players (in rugby union play) or 13 players (in rugby league play). Both rugby union and rugby league have their origins in the style of football played at Rugby School in England. The game of rugby was introduced to the Isle of Man by Captain John Stevens in the mid-19th century. His son then brought the game to North America and, from there, it was taken to Australia by Ernest Albert Nicholson, a former pupil of Rugby School, who moved to Sydney in 1889.
The first New Zealand national rugby union team toured Australia in 1904. It is now one of New Zealand’s most popular and most competitive sports.
Rugby union is generally played with two opposed teams of fifteen, although the maximum size of a team is now sixteen. The aim is to score more tries (match points) than the other team. The ball is struck between a pair of rugby posts, with a scrum forming at each side of the ball. As in rugby league, two sides of fifteen players compete for possession of the ball. There is no offside rule in rugby union, unlike the rugby league rules.
Scrums are similar to the scrum in rugby league, but without the hooker; two loose-head props (rows 1 and 4 in rugby league) and two tight-heads (rows 2 and 3) form a four-man line around the ball. The second tight-head is called a hooker, who can also be used as a ninth man at the back of the scrum. The scrum can be formed anywhere behind the ball, unlike rugby league where the scrum is formed from the front of the ball. The five-minute period called a “shot clock” starts after a team has not had possession for a specified time. Once the shot clock is over, the opposing team is awarded a scrum which it has two attempts to put a player into the scrum. The ball goes back to the team who last had possession. If no member of the attacking team goes into the scrum, they will take a penalty kick from about 10 metres out. In the 2011 World Cup, the rule was changed to give the attacking team one shot at each scrum. A scrum may be formed behind the ball, or in front of it, so long as there are at least two members in the scrum. The second and third row of players must be stationary and not moving forward.
Rugby is a 15-a-side team sport. The object of the game is to ground the ball behind the opponent’s try line, into what is called the in-goal area. Rugby is played both with the ball in hand and by kicking the ball. It is a sport anyone who has a pair of football boots, sports gear and a mouth guard can play.
From then on, I went to meet all the families in Glenn Village and told them that when I taught, they were playing rugby with each other, so we have to make it like that. The former Union Minister of Sports recently said that sports are the lungs of the nation. If this is true, the ultimate lung would be the rugby ball. So we sent a letter to Mr. Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, and asked him to launch a junior rugby team. He told us that he would do so within three months. In fact, he told us not to wait for his response, but I did. The reason for this delay is that my son, Francis Francis, now is the Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister and so the timing was important.
Date of last update: 24. May, 2021