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The history of rugby as a sports game


In early April 1823, in a football match, 16-year-old William Webb Ellis violated the rules and scored a goal with his hands. Since then, he is considered the founder of a new game, named after the place where it appeared rugby. There were no clear rules of the game at that time so before each match, the players gathered and agreed on the rules and regulations.


After the founding of the Rugby Union in England in 1871, which included athletes from 21 clubs, the basic instructions, and rules for this game were developed and adopted. Later, Scotland and Ireland, which merged in 1890, joined the English association. It was also joined by Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The World Rugby Council was formed. At the end of March 1871, an international match was held for the first time in Edinburgh. Scotland and England played. Rugby became popular throughout British territory: New Zealand (1870), Australia, South Africa (1875), and other states. This led to the creation of Fédération Internationale de Rugby Amateur (FIRA) in 1934.


Rugby was first presented at the Paris Olympics in 1900, where it was introduced by Romania, where the game was very common. The first champions of the Rugby Olympics were the French, the silver was won by the players of Germany, the bronze by the national team of Great Britain. In 1908, in London, the team of Australia and New Zealand won, beating the strongest competitors at the time rugby players from England. In 1920, at the Olympics in Antwerp, the US team was first. The result of the Olympics was determined in the game with France. In 1924, US rugby players won the Olympics again, the French took second place, and the bronze went to Romania. The championship was held on the new field of Columbus Stadium, which had the size for the rugby game together with the scoring fields and was designed for 16,000 seats. Then Rugby disappeared from the Olympic schedule for several reasons, one of the most important being the lack of a single international federation.

World Cup

A congress of international rugby federations was held in Australia, where the resolution on the World Cup was approved. Now it has been held once every four years, since 1987 men's competitions and since 1991, women's. The first rugby championship was held in 1987 in New Zealand and Australia.


New Zealand rugby players won this championship. The next championship took place in England in 1991, where the Australians won, and they also became the winners in 1999. In 2003, the first place went to the British. South Africa won the championship in 1995 and 2007.

Six Nations Championship

The most important and prestigious world championship in the Northern Hemisphere – the Six Nations Championship – is held no more than once a year. It involves the strongest European teams – Scotland, France, Wales, Italy, Ireland, and England. Since1883, Home Nations Championships were held, which were attended by four teams: Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and England.

In 1910, France also joined the competition, so it became known as the Five Nations Championship. In 2000, the number of participants increased, and the Italians joined the ranks. The French won in 2006 and 2007. Wales bypassed all teams and became the winner in 2008.

The team that wins five games gets the Grand Slam (although there is no prize for the victory). This Slam was won in 2009 by the Irish national team. In case of getting three victories, the team gets the Triple Crown. In 2008, it was won by Wales, which won the Grand Slam the same year. The outsider also has a prize - the team receives a Wooden Spoon award.


New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Argentina in the Southern Hemisphere hold the Rugby Championship. Rugby players from Australia and New Zealand play for the Bledisloe Cup.

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