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Rugby, also referred to as Rugby Union, is a contact team sport originating in England in the early 19th century. The game is played between two teams of 15 players with an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field. Each side of the field also has an H-shaped goal post.

Rugby is one of the most popular sports in the world with over six million registered players as of 2014. The governing body of Rugby Union, World Rugby, was established in 1886 and organizes the Rugby World Cup every four years. World Rugby comprises over 120 national unions and the span of the organization is divided into six regions: Africa, Americas North, Asia, Europe, South America, and Oceana.

Rugby has become a popular sport in the United States as of 2016. Major League Rugby started its first season in the spring of 2018 where seven teams across seven different states compete in the league. Rugby sevens has also been introduced as an alternative to the traditional 15 person style. Over 900 colleges now compete in rugby. According to Global Sport Matters, people participating in rugby rose by over one million over a ten-year span.


Table of Contents



What is the difference between a rugby union and league?

  • Rugby leagues have 13 players on each team whereas unions have 15 players
  • A try is leagues are worth 4 points and in unions they are worth 5
  • Penalties are worth 2 points in leagues and 3 points in unions
  • Drop goals are worth 1 point in leagues and 3 points in unions

What is the difference between a forward and a back?

A forward is a position required to move the ball as close to the opposing goal line as possible. A back plays behind the forward and are skilled in passing, kicking and catching.

Places like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Fiji, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland all have popular rugby scenes.

How often is the Rugby World Cup?

The Rugby World Cup started in 1987 and it has been happening every four years since.


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