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20 Things You Never Knew About Rugby
- Rugby and football were essentially the same game until 1863. A split occurred when attempts were made to formalize the rules of football, so the Blackheath club left the new Football Association and wanted the right of players to kick each other in the leg. to protect
- Initially, the game of rugby was played by teams consisting of 20 players.
- Rugby is the oldest international team sport, with the first rugby test predating both the first cricket and football tests.
- The International Rugby Board was formed as a result of the controversial attempt at the match between England and Scotland.
- The 1895 split between rugby league and rugby union occurred along both class and geographic lines. Working-class clubs in the north adopted the professional game, while wealthy clubs in the south adhered to the amateur rugby ethos.
- The United States is the reigning Olympic gold medalist, having won the last rugby tournament at the 1924 Olympics.
- Japan has the largest playing pool of any rugby playing country with 125,000 registered players.
- Pope John Paul II played rugby for the Polish national team.
- The first Gilbert rugby ball was produced in the late 1700s by William Gilbert, a shoemaker whose business was next door to the rugby school where the modern game was first played.
- The shape of the modern rugby ball is derived from the use of inflated pig bladders that were used in the early years of the game.
- In the early days of the game, only one point was awarded for a try. However, one goal earned 3 points.
- The first Test between Western Samoa and Fiji was played at 7am on a pitch with a large tree in the centre.
- The South African rugby team did not lose a test series between 1896 and 1956.
- The First World War had a significant impact on the game of rugby. 133 international players were killed in the fighting, which stunted the development of the sport for decades and also allowed football to become the most popular game in the UK.
- If Germany had not occupied France during World War II, rugby league would have been the dominant convention in that country. During the Nazi occupation, all of the vast assets of French Rugby League were handed over to the French Rugby Union, and for decades after the war, rugby league clubs were not allowed to describe their game as “rugby”.
- The grave of William Webb Ellis, the man credited with inventing rugby, was located only in 1959.
- Stellenbosch Rugby Club of South Africa is the largest rugby union club in the world with over 7,000 registered players.
- Rugby union is a very popular spectator sport in Georgia and Madagascar.
- Since becoming a professional sport, rugby has grown in popularity worldwide, with the 2007 Rugby World Cup attracting a total audience of 4 billion. The sport is currently the second most popular on the planet, the first being football.
- Rugby union is growing in popularity faster than any other sport in the United States, and the country already has a player pool larger than any Celtic team competing in the Six Nations.
There you have it – 20 things you’ve never seen before about rugby!
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