Rugby Football Union

Rugby What is it all About? “In 1823, William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball in his arms and ran with it. And for the next 156 years forwards have been trying to work out why. ” – Sir Tasker Watkins (1979) The History of Rugby, many believe that Rugby was born in 1823 when William Webb Ellis whilst spending his time at Rugby school, took the ball in his arms during a game of football and ran with it. This then became the distinctive future of the Rugby game.
Although this is not fact as there is little in the way of evidence to substantiate this view, it is more by popular belief. The true year Rugby Football Union was founded was in the year 1871, in the month of December 1870 two men published a letter in The Times suggesting that anyone who plays the Rugby Game should meet and form a code of practice. On 26 January 1871 a meeting was held in Pall Mall, London with representatives from 21 clubs of the game. As a result of this meeting the Rugby Football Union was officially founded.
Three lawyers who were former students of Rugby school drew up the first laws of the game which were approved in June 1871. The first ever International game was when England faced Scotland in Edinburgh on March 1871, the England team wore white with a red rose and Scotland wearing brown with a thistle. The game was played over two halves, 50 minutes each way. Scotland won by scoring a goal, a goal then was a try followed by a successful conversion kick. The name and game of rugby has evolved dramatically over the years.

In 1886 found the formation of the International Rugby Football Board, this was formed by Scotland, Ireland and Wales as England refused to join after a try against Scotland was disallowed by the Referee. England finally agreed to join in 1890, since then the International Rugby Football Board changed its name in 1997 are now known as the International Rugby Board. The game is always started with the toss of a coin to deicide what team will kick off first.
Play then starts with a drop kick, with the players chasing the ball into the opposition’s territory, and the other side trying to retrieve the ball and then taking the ball forward. If the player with the ball is tackled to the ground the team will then form a ruck to protect the ball and organize to set up play, throwing or passing the ball is always made to the player behind the ball, forward passing is not allowed. The ball can only move forward in three ways, by kicking, a player running with it and the ball moving within a scrum or ruck.
Blocking is not allowed and only the player with the ball may be tackled if the ball is knocked forward by a player with his arms a knock on is committed and play is restarted with a scrum. Protective equipment is optional and strictly regulated. The most common items are mouth guards, which are worn by most players. Other protective items permitted include thin head gear no thicker than 10mm, non-rigid shoulder pads and also shin pads. Some players will wear bandage or tape to protect injuries.
Over the years more and more countries have got involved in the game of rugby. 1910 was the start of the Five Nations Championship between England, France Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 1987 saw the start of the Rugby World Cup this championship was won by New Zealand who defeated France 29-9 at Eden Park, Auckland. 1996 the Tri Nations Series began between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 2000 the Five Nations became the Six Nations Championships with Italy joining in the competition.
Even the points system has dramatically changed in 1890 a try was 1 point and a conversion 2 points now its 5 points for a try and 2 points for a conversion. My conclusion to rugby is that the history and tradition will grow stronger and stronger over the years, from famous victories to famous trophies for instance the Six Nations Championship Trophy as plenty of tradition and history, the current trophy was presented to the championship winners France in 1993, the sterling silver trophy, designed by James Brent-Ward and made by a team of eight silversmiths is valued at ? 5,000, although this trophy was originally silver inside over the years of celebratory champagne fillings the trophy became corroded and is now plated with 22 carat gold for protection. The trophy has 15 side panels representing the 15 members of the team and three handles to represent the three officials, this tradition will never die. “In our country, true teams rarely exist . . . social barriers and personal ambitions have reduced athletes to dissolute cliques or individuals thrown together for mutual profit . . . Yet these rugby players. ith their muddied, cracked bodies, are struggling to hold onto a sense of humanity that we in America have lost and are unlikely to regain. The game may only be to move a ball forward on a dirt field, but the task can be accomplished with an unshackled joy and its memories will be a permanent delight. The women and men who play on that rugby field are more alive than too many of us will ever be. The foolish emptiness we think we perceive in their existence is only our own. ” – Victor Cahn (The New York Times in June 1973)

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