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Rugby football is a collective name for the family of
team sport A team sport includes any sport where individuals are organized into opposing sports team, teams which compete to win. Team members act together towards a shared objective. This can be done in a number of ways such as outscoring the opposing ...
s of
rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the Comparison of rugby league and rugby union, two codes of rugby f ...
and
rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Fi ...
, as well as the earlier forms of
football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called ''football'' include (known as ''soccer'' ...

football
from which both games, as well as
Australian rules football Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "football Football is a family of team sport A team is a roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working ...
and gridiron football, evolved. The two variants of gridiron football — Canadian football and, to a lesser extent, American football — were once considered forms of rugby football but are seldom now referred to as such. In fact, the governing body of Canadian football, Football Canada, was known as the Canadian Rugby Union as late as 1967, more than fifty years after the sport parted ways with the established rules of rugby union or league. Rugby football was thought to have been started about 1845 at
Rugby School Rugby School is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, a ...
in
Rugby, Warwickshire Rugby is a market town in eastern Warwickshire, England, close to the River Avon, Warwickshire, River Avon. In 2020 its population was estimated at 77,285, making it the List of Warwickshire towns by population, second-largest town in Warwickshir ...
, England although forms of football in which the ball was carried and tossed date to
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
times (see
medieval football Medieval football is a modern term used for a wide variety of the localised informal football games which were invented and played in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified ...
). Rugby split into two sports in 1895, when twenty-one clubs split from the
Rugby Football Union The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the national governing body for rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th ...
to form the Northern Rugby Football Union (later renamed the Rugby Football League in 1922) in the George Hotel,
Huddersfield Huddersfield is a large market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and ...

Huddersfield
, over payments to players who took time off from work to play the sport (known as "broken-time payments"), thus making rugby league the first
code In communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', mean ...

code
to turn
professional A professional is a member of a profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a wid ...
and pay players. Rugby union turned professional one hundred years later in 1995, following the
1995 Rugby World Cup The 1995 Rugby World Cup was the third Rugby World Cup The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-h ...
in South Africa. The respective world governing bodies are
World Rugby World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. O ...
(rugby union) and the
Rugby League International Federation The International Rugby League (IRL) is the global governing body for the sport of rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a contact sport, full-contact sport p ...
(rugby league). Rugby football was one of many versions of football played at
English public schools A public school in England and Wales is a fee-charging financial endowment, endowed school originally for older boys that was "public" in the sense of being open to pupils irrespective of locality, Christian denomination, denomination or pater ...
in the 19th century. Although rugby league initially used rugby union rules, they are now wholly separate sports. In addition to these two codes, both American and Canadian football evolved from rugby football in the beginning of the 20th century.


Forms

Following the 1895 split in rugby football, the two forms
rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Fi ...
and
rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the Comparison of rugby league and rugby union, two codes of rugby f ...
differed in administration only. Soon the rules of rugby league were modified, resulting in two distinctly different forms of rugby. Rugby union would not become an openly professional sport until 100 years later. The Olympic form of rugby is known as
Rugby Sevens Rugby sevens (commonly known as simply sevens and originally known as seven-a-side rugby), is a variant of rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated ...
. In this form of the game, each team has seven players on the field at one time playing seven-minute halves. The rules and pitch size are the same as rugby union.


History


Antecedents of rugby

Although rugby football was codified at
Rugby School Rugby School is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, a ...
, many rugby playing countries had pre-existing football games similar to rugby. Forms of traditional football similar to rugby have been played throughout Europe and beyond. Many of these involved handling of the ball, and scrummaging formations. For example, New Zealand had Ki-o-rahi, Australia
marn grook ''Marn Grook'' or ''marngrook'', from the Woiwurung language for "ball" or "game", is a traditional Indigenous Australian Indigenous Australians are people with familial heritage to groups that lived in Australia before History of Australi ...
, Japan
kemari is an athletic game that was popular in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politica ...

kemari
, Georgia
lelo burti Lelo or lelo burti ( ka, ლელო ბურთი), literally a "field ball laying Laying is the act of making equipment level. It usually involves moving equipment in small motions so that spirit level A spirit level, bubble level, ...
, the Scottish Borders Jeddart Ba' and Cornwall
Cornish hurling Hurling ( kw, Hurlian) is an outdoor team game played only in Cornwall, England played with a small silvern ball. While the sport shares its name with the Irish game of hurling, the two sports are completely different. Once played widely in Cor ...
, Central Italy
Calcio Fiorentino ''Calcio fiorentino'' (also known as ''calcio storico'' "historic football") is an early form of football (soccer and Rugby football, rugby) that originated in 16th-century Italy. Once widely played, the sport is thought to have started in the ''P ...
, South Wales
cnapan ''Cnapan'' (alternative spellings ''criapan'', ''knapan'' or ''knappan'') is a Welsh form of Celtic medieval football. The game originated in, and seems to have remained largely confined to, the western counties of Wales, especially Carmarthenshi ...
, East Anglia Campball and Ireland had caid, an ancestor of
Gaelic football Gaelic football (Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom ...
.


Establishment of modern rugby

In 1871, English clubs met to form the
Rugby Football Union The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the national governing body for rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th ...
(RFU). In 1892, after charges of professionalism (compensation of team members) were made against some clubs for paying players for missing work, the Northern Rugby Football Union, usually called the Northern Union (NU), was formed. The existing rugby union authorities responded by issuing sanctions against the clubs, players, and officials involved in the new organization. After the schism, the separate clubs were named "rugby league" and "rugby union".


Global status of rugby codes

Rugby union is both a professional and amateur game, and is dominated by the first tier unions:
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,
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,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
and
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...
. Second and third tier unions include
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...
,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
,
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...
,
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...
,
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
,
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,
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,
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...
,
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east a ...
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the Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...
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,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
,
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...
,
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...
,
the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...
. Rugby Union is administered by
World Rugby World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. O ...
(WR), whose headquarters are located in
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Dublin
, Ireland. It is the
national sport A national sport is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (n ...
in New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Georgia and
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...
, and is the most popular form of rugby globally. The Olympic Games have admitted the seven-a-side version of the game, known as
Rugby sevens Rugby sevens (commonly known as simply sevens and originally known as seven-a-side rugby), is a variant of rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated ...
, into the programme from Rio de Janeiro in 2016 onwards. There was a possibility sevens would be a demonstration sport at the 2012 London Olympics but many sports including sevens were dropped. In Canada and the United States, rugby developed into
gridiron football Gridiron football,bicycle_helmet.html" ;"title="Jérémy Leveau wearing a bicycle helmet">Jérémy Leveau wearing a bicycle helmet A helmet is a form of protective gear worn to protect the Human head, he ... and shoulder pads Shoulder pads a ...
. During the late 1800s (and even the early 1900s), the two forms of the game were very similar (to the point where the United States was able to win the gold medal for
rugby union at the 1924 Summer Olympics In rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the Comparison of rugby league and rugby union, tw ...
), but numerous rule changes have differentiated the gridiron-based game from its rugby counterpart, introduced by
Walter Camp Walter Chauncey Camp (April 7, 1859 – March 14, 1925) was an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven ...
in the United States and John Thrift Meldrum Burnside in Canada. Among unique features of the North American game are * the separation of play into downs instead of releasing the ball immediately upon tackling * the requirement that the team with the ball set into a set formation for at least one second before resuming play after a tackle (and the allowance of up to 40 seconds to do so) * the allowance for one
forward pass In several forms of football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), ...
from behind the site of the last tackle on each down * the evolution of hard plastic equipment (particularly the football helmet and shoulder pads) * a smaller and pointier ball that is favorable to being passed but makes drop kicks impractical * a generally smaller and narrower field measured in customary units instead of metric (in some variants of the American game a field can be as short as 50 yards between end zones) *`a distinctive field (shaped like a gridiron, from which the code's nickname is derived) with lines marked in five-yard intervals Rugby league is also both a professional and amateur game, administered on a global level by the
Rugby League International Federation The International Rugby League (IRL) is the global governing body for the sport of rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a contact sport, full-contact sport p ...
. In addition to amateur and semi-professional competitions in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...
, Europe and Australasia, there are two major professional competitions—the Australasian
National Rugby League The National Rugby League (NRL), formed in 1998, is the pre-eminent rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thir ...
and the
Super League The Super League (SL), sponsored as the Betfred Super League and officially known as Super League Europe, is the top-level of the British rugby league system. At present the league consists of twelve teams, of which ten are from Northern Engl ...
. International Rugby League is dominated by
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
. In
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania th ...
, it is the national sport. Other nations from the South Pacific and Europe also play in the
Pacific Cup The Pacific Cup was a rugby league football competition for national teams from the Pacific region. History The Pacific Cup was started in 1975 by Keith Gittoes of the New South Wales Rugby League The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) ...
and
European Cup The UEFA Champions League (abbreviated as UCL) is an annual club Association football, football competition organised by the UEFA, Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by List of top-division football clubs in UEFA coun ...
respectively.


Rules

Distinctive features common to both rugby codes include the oval
ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional s ...

ball
and throwing the ball forward is not allowed so that players can gain ground only by running with the ball or by kicking it. As the sport of rugby league moved further away from its union counterpart, rule changes were implemented with the aim of making a faster-paced and more try-oriented game. Unlike American and Canadian football, the players do not wear any sort of protection or armour. The main differences between the two games, besides league having teams of 13 players and union of 15, involve the tackle and its aftermath: * Union players contest possession following the tackle: depending on the situation, either a ruck or a
maul
maul
can occur. League players may not contest possession after making a tackle: play is continued with a ''
play-the-ball Like most forms of modern football, rugby league football is played outdoors on a rectangular grass field with goals at each end that are to be attacked and defended by two opposing teams. The rules of rugby league have changed significantly ov ...
''. * In league, if the team in possession fails to score before a set of six tackles, it surrenders possession. Union has no six-tackle rule; a team can keep the ball for an unlimited number of tackles before scoring as long as it maintains possession and does not commit an offence. Set pieces of the union code include the "
scrum Scrum may refer to: Sport * Scrum (rugby), a method of restarting play in rugby union and rugby league ** Scrum (rugby union), scrum in rugby union * Scrum, an offensive melee formation in Japanese game Bo-taoshi Media and popular culture * M ...
", which occurs after a minor infringement of the rules (most often a knock-on, when a player knocks the ball forward), where packs of opposing players push against each other for possession, and the " line-out", in which parallel lines of players from each team, arranged perpendicular to the
touch-lineThe touch-line is the line on either side of the playing area of a games of rugby league, rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, full-contact team sport that originated in England in the first ...
, attempt to catch the ball thrown from
touch The somatosensory system is a part of the sensory nervous system The sensory nervous system is a part of the nervous system In biology, the classical doctrine of the nervous system determines that it is a Complex system, highly comple ...
. A rule has been added to line-outs which allows the jumper to be pulled down once a players' feet are on the ground. In the league code, the scrum still exists, but with greatly reduced importance as it involves fewer players and is rarely contested. Set pieces are generally started from the play-the-ball situation. Many of the
rugby league positions A rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field Field may refer to: Expanses o ...
have names and requirements similar to
rugby union positions In the game of rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the Comparison of rugby league and ru ...
, but there are no flankers in rugby league.


Culture


Home countries

In England, rugby union is widely regarded as an "establishment" sport, played mostly by members of the upper and
middle classes The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the ...
. For example, many pupils at public schools and
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
s play rugby union, although the game (which had a long history of being played at
state school State schools (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) or public schools (Scottish English Scottish English ( gd, Beurla Albannach) is the set of varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, th ...
s until the 1980s) is becoming increasingly popular in
comprehensive school A comprehensive school is a public school for elementary aged or secondary aged children (aged approximately 11-18) that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude, in contrast to the selective school A selecti ...
s. Despite this stereotype, the game, particularly in the
West Country The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The I ...

West Country
is popular amongst all classes. In contrast, rugby league has traditionally been seen as a working-class pursuit. Another exception to rugby union's upper-class stereotype is in Wales, where it has been traditionally associated with small village teams made up of coal miners and other industrial workers who played on their days off. On Ireland, both rugby union and rugby league are unifying forces across the national and sectarian divide, with the Ireland international teams representing both political entities. In Australia, support for both codes is concentrated in New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. The same perceived class barrier as exists between the two games in England also occurs in these states, fostered by rugby union's prominence and support at private schools.Collins, T. (2005). "Australian Nationalism and Working-Class Britishness: The Case of Rugby League Football." History Compass, Vol. 3, No. 1. Exceptions to the above include New Zealand (although rugby league is still considered to be a lower class game by many or a game for 'westies' referring to lower class western suburbs of Auckland and more recently, southern Auckland where the game is also popular), Wales, France (except Paris), Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Scottish Borders, County Limerick (see Munster Rugby) and the Pacific Islands, where rugby union is popular in working class communities. Nevertheless, rugby league is perceived as the game of the working-class people in northern England and in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland. In the United Kingdom, rugby union fans sometimes used the term "rugger" as an alternative name for the sport (see Oxford '-er'), although this archaic expression has not had currency since the 1950s or earlier. New Zealanders refer to rugby union simply as either "rugby" or "union", or even simply "football", and to rugby league as "rugby league" or "league". In the U.S., people who play rugby are sometimes called "ruggers", a term little used elsewhere except facetiously.


Internationally

There is a strong tradition of rugby union in France, particularly in the Basque, Occitan and Catalan areas along the border with Spain. The game is very popular in South Africa, having been introduced by English-speaking settlers in the 19th century. British colonists also brought the game with them to Australia and New Zealand, where the game is widely played. It has spread since to much of Polynesia, having particularly strong followings in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga. Rugby union continues to grow in the Americas and parts of Asia as well.


Injuries

About a quarter of rugby players are injured in each season. Being a high contact sport, rugby union has the highest announced rates of concussions and outside England also has the highest number of catastrophic injuries out of any team sport. Research finding that during match play, concussion was reported at a higher level, and during training at a lower level, but still at a higher level than most players of another sport to receive.


Rugby ball

A
rugby ball #REDIRECT Rugby ball#REDIRECT Rugby ball A rugby ball is an elongated ellipsoid An ellipsoid is a surface that may be obtained from a sphere by deforming it by means of directional Scaling (geometry), scalings, or more generally, of an affine tran ...

rugby ball
, originally called a quanco, is a diamond shape ball used for easier passing. Richard Lindon and Bernardo Solano started making balls for Rugby school out of hand stitched, four-panel, leather casings and pigs' bladders. The rugby ball's distinctive shape is supposedly due to the pig's bladder, although early balls were more plum-shaped than oval. The balls varied in size in the beginning depending upon how large the pig's bladder was. In rugby union, World Rugby regulates the size and shape of the ball under Law 2 (also known as Law E.R.B); an official rugby union ball is oval and made of four panels, has a length in-line of 280–300 millimetres, a circumference (end to end) of 740–770 millimetres, and a circumference (in width) of 580–620 millimetres. It is made of leather or suitable synthetic material and may be treated to make it water resistant and easier to grip. The rugby ball may not weigh more than 460 grams or less than 410 and has an air pressure of 65.71–68.75
kilopascals The pascal (symbol: Pa) is the SI derived unit of pressure used to quantify internal pressure, stress (physics), stress, Young's modulus, and ultimate tensile strength. The unit, named after Blaise Pascal, is defined as one Newton (unit), newton ...
, or 0.67–0.70 kilograms per square centimetre, or 9.5–10.0 lbs per square inch.International rugby board
"Rugby ball laws"
22 February 2010.
Spare balls are allowed under the condition that players or teams do not seek an advantage by changing the ball. Smaller sized balls may also be used in games between younger players. Much larger versions of traditional balls are also available for purchase, but these are mainly for their novelty attraction.


World Cups

The
Rugby League World Cup The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league tournament contested by the top men's national teams. The tournament is administered by the International Rugby League and was first held in France in 1954 Rugby League World Cup, 195 ...
was the first World Cup of either of the Rugby codes and was first held in France in
1954 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ...
, and as of 2013 occurs on a 4-year cycle. It is an international tournament that is organized by the
Rugby League International Federation The International Rugby League (IRL) is the global governing body for the sport of rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a contact sport, full-contact sport p ...
. The event is played in the league format and features the top 14 teams from around the world. Australia won the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, played in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The Rugby World Cup, which was first held in New Zealand and Australia in 1987 Rugby World Cup, 1987, occurs every four years. It is an international tournament organized by
World Rugby World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. O ...
. The event is played in the union format and features the top 20 teams from around the world. South Africa won the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which was played in Japan.


Rugby shirt

Rugby shirts were formerly entirely made of cotton but are now made of a cotton and polyester mix. This material has the advantage of not absorbing as much water or mud as cotton alone. Owing to the more aggressive nature of the game, rugby clothing, in general, is designed to be much more robust and hardwearing than that worn for association football. The rugby jerseys are slightly different depending on the type of rugby game played. The shirts worn by
rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Fi ...
footballers commonly have a large "V" around the neck. The players in rugby union wear jerseys with a more traditional design, sometimes completely white (Cahors Rugby in France). The number of the player and his or her surname are placed on the upper back of the jersey (often name above number, with the number being significantly larger and more central), and the logo of the team on the upper left chest.


Rugby betting

With the popularity of rugby over the years, many betting establishments have made it possible for viewers of the game to place wagers on games. The various types of wagers that can be placed on games vary, however, the main types of bets that can be placed are as follows: * Fixed-odds betting * Futures/Outright Bets * Prop Bets / Specials * Over/Under Bets Like most team sports, both forms of rugby are vulnerable to match-fixing, particularly bets involving easily manipulated outcomes, such as conceding penalties and first point scorer. A recent example is a deliberate infringement by Ryan Tandy in order for the first points scored to be a penalty goal in a 2010 NRL match; the attempt backfired when instead of taking a shot at goal, a try was scored.


See also

*College rugby


References


External links


Rugby's Most Unfortunate Faces
slideshow by ''Life (magazine), Life'' magazine
Video on the Basics of Rugby Union
*Full Guide o
Rugby World Cup 2019
in Japan {{DEFAULTSORT:Rugby Football Rugby football, Games and sports introduced in the 19th century Rugby School Team sports