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history of rugby

The legend has it at that in 1823, during a game of soccer at Rugby School in England, 16 year old William Webb Ellis, in fine disregard for the rules, picked up the ball and ran with it. After William's display it was so obvious to his classmates the genius of that move that soon the whole school adopted the new rules and word quickly spread. The legend has it that this was how the game of rugby was born.


  1. Rugby is the fastest growing youth sport in the USA according to Sports & Fitness Industry Association 2017 annual report on "US Trends in Team Sports", see link.

  2. The Rugby world cup 2015 was the 2nd most attended sporting event with over 2.5 million sold tickets from fans traveling from over 100 countries, which is second only to the FIFA World cup.

  3. The sport of rugby is named after Rugby School, where the game was first played sometime in 1820s.

  4. In 1895, some schools split from the Northern Rugby Football Union and created a separate version of rugby. referred to as Rugby league with slightly different rules.

  5. Rugby is known for the use of oval-shaped balls. However, this hasn't always been the case. Initially, the balls were plum-shaped due to the shape of pigs' bladders that they were made from.

  6. The first international rugby match took place between Scotland and England in 1871 at Raeburn Park in Edinburgh. Scotland won. The first international soccer match took place later in November 1872, also between Scotland and England.

  7. Originally, you did not get any points for a "try". Instead you earned the right to try to kick for poles and if you succeeded then you earned a point.

  8. Rugby 7s is an Olympic sport for both men and women. It was played for the first time at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, where the champions were Fiji for the men and Australia for the women.



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