Rugby Union

Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. It is played with an oval-shaped ball with a maximum width and length of 30 centimetres (12 in) and 62 centimetres (24 in) respectively. It is played on a field up to 100 metres (330 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) wide with H-shaped goal posts on each goal line.

William Webb Ellis is often credited with the invention of running with the ball in hand in 1823 at Rugby School when he allegedly caught the ball while playing football and ran towards the opposition goal. However, the evidence for the story is doubtful. In 1845, the first football laws were written by Rugby School pupils; other significant events in the early development of rugby include the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the Football Association in 1863 and the split between rugby union and rugby league in 1895. Historically an amateur sport, in 1995 the International Rugby Board (IRB) removed restrictions on payments to players, making the game openly professional at the highest level for the first time.

The IRB has been the governing body for rugby union since its formation in 1886. Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland, and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Georgia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Wales. Rugby union is played in over 100 countries across six continents and as of November 2010 118 unions were members of the IRB.

The Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years, with the winner of the tournament receiving the Webb Ellis Cup. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere (the latter replacing the Tri Nations) are major international competitions held annually. Major domestic competitions include the Top 14 in France, the English Premiership in England, the Currie Cup in South Africa, and the ITM Cup in New Zealand. Other transnational competitions include the Pro 12, involving Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams; The Rugby Championship, involving Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; and the Heineken Cup, involving the top European teams from their respective domestic competitions.

Read more about Rugby UnionHistory, Teams and Positions, Equipment, Governing Bodies, Global Reach, Women's Rugby Union, Major International Competitions, Variants, Influence On Other Sports, Statistics and Records, In Culture

Other articles related to "rugby, union, unions, rugby union":

Canadian Football League East Division - History - Pre-1907
... The first organized competitions were formed in 1883, when the Ontario Rugby Football Union and the Quebec Rugby Football Union were founded ... The following year, the two provincial unions would form the Canadian Rugby Football Union, with Montreal winning the first national championship later that year ... collapsed before the decade was out, but was re-organized as the Canadian Rugby Union in 1891, with Osgoode Hall winning the first CRU championship the following year ...
Macdonald - Notable People: MacDonald Surname
... of the French horn (current residence, Germany) Born after 1950 Alan MacDonald (rugby union) (born 1985), Scottish rugby union player Andrew ...
Rugby Union - In Culture
... novel Tom Brown's Schooldays, set at Rugby School, includes a rugby football match, also portrayed in the 1940s film of the same name. 1924 Sherlock Holmes tale The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, mentions that Dr Watson played rugby for Blackheath ... Joueurs de football shows two pairs of rugby players competing ...
Sport In New Zealand - Popular Sports - Rugby Union
... Rugby union is the national sport in New Zealand, and is popular across all sections of New Zealand society, and many New Zealanders associate it with their national identity ... New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks, has the best winning record of any national team in the world, and is currently ranked first in the world ... The All Blacks won the first Rugby World Cup in 1987, and again on home soil in 2011 ...
Kelly Brown (rugby Union)
... Kelly Brown (born 8 June 1982 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish rugby union player ... He is the captain of Scotland's national rugby union team, and plays club rugby for Saracens as a flanker ...

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