Matthew S. Mat Rogers is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. He played rugby union at the highest levels, becoming a dual-code international, the son of the late Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks legend and CEO Steve Rogers, Mat played for the Sharks as well. He played in two State of Origin series for Queensland, and for 7 Tests the Australian national side before his switch to union in 2001. Rogers played at fly half in his season for the Waratahs. He returned to league in 2007 with the newly formed Gold Coast Titans club. Rogers was born in Caringbah, New South Wales and began playing rugby league for the Engadine Dragons. His father, retired professional rugby league in 1986. Mat attended The Southport School during his schooling years and played both forms of the game. Rogers excelled in union at TSS, a well known rugby union nursery and he played in the Australian Schoolboys representative team in 1993, at one point playing opposite a young Jonny Wilkinson, and future All Blacks sensation Jonah Lomu.
After deciding that rugby league was his career path, Rogers joined his fathers former club. Rogers formed powerful combinations with centre partner Andrew Ettingshausen and fullback David Peachey and he was an entertaining ball-running winger during the mid-to-late 90s. He held several point-scoring records with Cronulla being a goal kicker. Rogers was chosen for the Australian team to compete in the end of season 1999 Tri Nations tournament, in the final against New Zealand he played on the wing, scoring two tries and kicking three goals in the Kangaroos 22-20 victory. Rogers expressed his desire to shift from his position on the wing to either Centre or Fullback, however, a serious injury to his shoulder rotator cuff at the conclusion of the Kangaroos successful 2000 World Cup Campaign destroyed his chance. Despite this he was the tournaments top point-scorer, after a complete shoulder reconstruction he was restricted to a handful of games during the 2001 season, his final year with the Sharks.
Following his switch Rogers was a success in rugby union. He made his Wallaby debut with Wendell Sailor in a Test match against France in June 2002, collectively at that point they became the 41st and 42nd Australian dual code internationals. His transition had not been without controversy and his 2004 Super 12 season started brilliantly but a serious ankle injury suffered in South Africa ruled him out of that years Tri Nations series
Stadium Australia, commercially known as ANZ Stadium and formerly as Telstra Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium located in the Sydney Olympic Park, in Sydney, Australia. Every year since the stadium was built, the New South Wales rugby league teams games in the State of Origin series have been played there. Also the stadium has hosted the annual National Rugby League grand final. The stadium hosted the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final, in 2003 reconfiguration work was completed to shorten the north and south wings, and install movable seating. These changes reduced the capacity to 83,500 for a field and 82,500 for an oval field. Awnings were added over the north and south stands, which allows most of the seating to be undercover, the stadium was engineered along sustainable lines for example with the low use of steel in the roof structure in comparison to the Olympic stadiums of Athens and Beijing. The stadium lacked a naming sponsor in its formative years. In 2002, telecommunications company Telstra acquired the rights, resulting in the stadium being known as Telstra Stadium.
This change took effect on 1 January 2008, in 2014, ANZ renewed the deal through to the end of 2017. In 1993, Stadium Australia was designed to host the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the attendance broke the old record of 102,569 set at the Odsal Stadium in Bradford, England for the Challenge Cup Final replay between Warrington and Halifax held on 5 May 1954. The first musical act held at the newly built stadium was the Bee Gees, consisting of Barry and Maurice Gibb, on March 27,1999. The band had embarked on what would be their world tour as a group before the death of Maurice. The show was out with an attendance of 66,285. The stadium was not officially opened until June 1999 when the Australian National Soccer team played the FIFA All Stars, Australia won the match 3–2 in front of a crowd of 88,101. The event attracted a capacity crowd of 82,698. The 1999 Bledisloe Cup rugby union match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks attracted a record rugby union crowd of 107,042.
In 2000 this was bettered when an almost capacity crowd of 109,874 witnessed the Greatest ever Rugby Match when a Jonah Lomu try sealed an All Blacks win over the Wallabies 39–35. The All Blacks had led 24-nil after 11 minutes only to see Australia draw level at 24-all by halftime, an exhibition soccer match between the Socceroos and Premier League team Manchester United was played on 18 July 1999
Steve Walsh (rugby referee)
Steve Walsh is a retired professional rugby union referee from New Zealand. He officiated at international level from 1998 to 2014, and at three Rugby World Cups, including refereeing the semi-final between South Africa and Argentina in 2007, Walsh became the most experienced Super Rugby referee in 2014, passing Jonathan Kaplans record before retiring from the game in 2015. Steve Reid Walsh was born in Cambridge, New Zealand and attended Glenfield College and he played junior provincial representative rugby until a spinal injury and subsequent medical check ended his playing career at the age of 13. Scans revealed just two-and-a-half vertebrae in his neck, a defect which meant his neck was unstable. Walsh began refereeing at age 16 and went on to become the youngest official to make his NPC debut, in the third division and he worked as a customs agent and as a salesman before taking up professional refereeing on a full-time basis in 1998. At the age of 23, Walsh made his Test refereeing debut on 13 June 1998 and he was the youngest Test referee at the top level at that time.
He made his Rugby World Cup debut as a judge in 1999. He took control of Tri Nations opener between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town on 12 July 2003, Walsh refereed at the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He was involved in an altercation with the England fitness coach Dave Reddin in the match against Samoa. Reddin was cleared of misconduct for his part in the incident but was banned from touchline duties for two games for sending winger Dan Luger onto the field against the officials orders. Walsh was suspended for three days, missing one match, before going on to referee the quarter-final between Australia and Scotland. During the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2005, Irish winger Shane Horgan was called for a knock-on in a match against Taranaki, Horgan disputed the decision and was met with verbal abuse from Walsh. After the Lions made a complaint, Walsh was suspended from officiating duties for four months. Walsh received a strike on his record, when he was asked to leave a refereeing conference in Sydney after turning up drunk in December 2008.
A New Zealand Rugby Union statement in January had said that he wouldnt be considered for the month of Super 14 matches. In April 2009, the New Zealand Rugby Union announced that Walsh had retired from his refereeing position, Walsh moved to Bondi in Sydney in 2009. He was offered affiliation to the Australian Rugby Union and began refereeing school rugby, Walsh was included in the reserve panel of referees for the 2010 Super 14 competition, now representing Australia, and was reappointed to the IRB Elite panel, the highest level, in 2010. In March 2011, he was the referee for the Scotland v Italy match at Murrayfield in the Six Nations Championship, Walsh was appointed to the 2011 Rugby World Cup and refereed several games in New Zealand, representing the Australian Rugby Union
Douglas Charles Howlett is a retired professional New Zealand rugby union player. He was primarily a wing, but he covered fullback at national and international levels and he finished his career with Munster Rugby in Ireland. With an outstanding 49 tries in 62 tests, Howlett is currently the seventh-highest try scorer in rugby union history, born in Auckland, New Zealand, Howlett attended May Road School, and Mt Roskill Intermediate School. Howlett is of Tongan descent, with roots in the coastal village of Kolonga. He started playing rugby at Auckland Grammar School, where he was a sprinter, captain of athletics and, during his final year in 1996. He calls upon his speed as a sprinter to great effect in his rugby career, Howlett made his first-class debut at the age of 18 for Auckland in the Air New Zealand Cup. He has played with three Super Rugby teams, briefly with the Otago Highlanders and Wellington Hurricanes and, for the majority of his career in his home country, the Auckland Blues. It was with his hometown Blues that he established himself as one of the finest back players in the world, throughout his domestic career he remained affiliated with Auckland in the Air New Zealand Cup, with more than 50 appearances for the union.
Howlett debuted for the All Blacks on 16 June 2000, in his career, he scored on average 4 points per game. He was a first choice winger in the 2003 World Cup, Howlett scored 49 tries for the All Blacks, a team record. He was selected for the Rugby World Cup squad ahead of Canterbury and Tasman player Rico Gear, however, he was expected to play the first three rounds of the 2007 Air New Zealand Cup. He scored a hat trick in Aucklands victory over Counties Manukau in the first round, Howlett was known as a winger with a high work rate and strong defensive tackling ability. In May 2009, Howlett was named in the Barbarians squad to play England, on 30 August 2007, Howlett signed for Munster, following in the footsteps of another All Black great, Christian Cullen. Howlett joined Munster at the start of 2008 and he made his debut for Munster in the Heineken Cup against ASM Clermont Auvergne, notably starting the movement for Lifeimi Mafis try. His second match came against London Wasps where he dived to save the ball in the build-up to Denis Leamys try.
He scored his first Munster try against Ulster on 22 March 2008, on 24 May 2008, Howlett was part of the Munster team that beat Toulouse 16–13 to win the 2007–08 Heineken Cup. Howlett had won his first cup with Munster only five and a half months into his career in the Northern Hemisphere, Howlett himself scored a try in the final only for it to be disallowed due to a forward pass from Rua Tipoki. Howlett joins Rod Kafer and Brad Thorn in having won major tournaments in both the southern and northern hemispheres, the Super 14 and Heineken Cup respectively
New Zealand Rugby
New Zealand Rugby is the governing body of rugby union in New Zealand. It was founded in 1892 as the New Zealand Rugby Football Union,12 years after the first provincial unions in New Zealand. In 1949 it became an affiliate to the International Rugby Football Board, now known as World Rugby and it dropped the word Football from its name in 2006. The brand name New Zealand Rugby was adopted in 2013, NZR Headquarters are located in Wellington, New Zealand, with an office in Auckland. New Zealand Rugby’s purpose is to lead, support and it is committed to New Zealand rugby being financially secure, attracting top partners and contributing actively to the global game. There are currently 11 NZRU Board members, the President, David Rhodes, was elected in 2015. The President may attend Board meetings but is not a Board member, Steve Tew is the current chief executive and Sir Brian Lochore is the current Patron. It delivers Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand and manages Test matches in New Zealand, New Zealand Rugby has a staff of approximately 90 people, mostly based in Wellington and Auckland but working in locations all around New Zealand.
NZR was initially governed by a committee of delegates from the provincial unions until replaced in 1894 by a seven-member Wellington-based management committee, administrative responsibilities were initially held by honorary secretaries, and secretaries, from 1907. This was expanded 43 years to two entities, the ruling NZRU Council and an executive committee. In 1986, three geographical zones were formed to elect the members of the council, and the executive committee was replaced by an administration committee. Since 1990, the NZRU has been managed by a CEO, in 1996, the NZRUs ruling council was replaced by an expanded board to include independent members and an elected Maori representative. New Zealand Rugbys Patron fills a role as the figurehead for the organization. The current Patron is former All Blacks captain Sir Brian Lochore, the President and Vice President are the Unions two officers who represent New Zealand Rugby at functions and events. Unlike the Patron, the President and Vice President may attend meetings of New Zealand Rugby.
The President and Vice President are elected for two years each, the current President is David Rhodes and the current Vice President is Maurice Trapp. The Board is charged with setting strategy and policy for the New Zealand Rugby Union, many of the decisions concerning New Zealand’s national teams, domestic competitions, financial management and rugby traditions are made by the Board. As of April 2015, the Board has nine members, six elected members, any provincial union in New Zealand may nominate candidates for vacant elective positions
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, in 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.4 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland, the islands geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild, thick woodlands covered the island until the Middle Ages. As of 2013, the amount of land that is wooded in Ireland is about 11% of the total, there are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is moderate and classified as oceanic.
As a result, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, summers are cooler than those in Continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant, the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century CE, the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the Norman invasion in the 12th century, England claimed sovereignty over Ireland, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, with the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s and this subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature.
Alongside mainstream Western culture, an indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music. The culture of the island shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, horse racing. The name Ireland derives from Old Irish Eriu and this in turn derives from Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, which is the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning fat, during the last glacial period, and up until about 9000 years ago, most of Ireland was covered with ice, most of the time
Carlos James Spencer is a former New Zealand rugby union footballer and most recently the head coach of the Eastern Province Kings. During his playing days, he played at fly-half for the Blues and Lions in Super Rugby and he has generally specialised in the position of fly-half, known as first five-eighth or number 10, although he has played fullback at national and international levels. Spencer first rose to prominence when he starred alongside Christian Cullen in a Ranfurly Shield challenge in 1991, Auckland coach Graham Henry spotted Spencers talent and recruited him to play for the Auckland team. He played for the Blues Super 12 team from the inception of the competition in 1996 until 2005, in 1996, Spencer played for the Blues in the first ever Super 12-match, kicking off the professional era of rugby union. He went on to score 608 points for the Blues in the Super Rugby competition, in 2005 he signed to the English club, Northampton Saints, where he stayed until 30 January 2009. On 3 February 2009 he signed for Gloucester on a 17-month contract, in January 2010 Spencer signed with the Johannesburg-based Golden Lions, to play for the team in the 2010 and 2011 Super Rugby seasons.
The contract offered to him was said at the time to be the highest ever in South Africa and he subsequently took up a coaching role with the team, before being released following the 2012 season. He moved to the Durban-based Sharks for the 2013 season, in December 2013, he signed a five-year contract to become the kicking and specialist skills coach at Port Elizabeth-based side, the Eastern Province Kings. He was appointed as their coach on 20 February 2014. He was in charge of just one Currie Cup season in 2014, brent Janse van Rensburg was appointed as head coach for the 2015 Currie Cup Premier Division season with Spencer reverting to kicking and specialist skills coach. However, Spencer left the staff a month later. Spencer first played for the All Blacks in a non-test tour match on 4 November 1995 and his test debut was against Argentina at Athletic Park in Wellington on 28 June that year. He scored 33 points in that match alone and his All Black appearances as a starter were somewhat irregular thereafter, as Andrew Mehrtens was generally preferred as the first-choice flyhalf for the side during the period from 1995–2002.
He was selected for the 1999 All Blacks World Cup squad but became injured in training at London, in 2004, Carlos Spencer struggled to find the same form he had displayed the previous year, and Mehrtens replaced him for the final game of that years Tri Nations. He was ruled out of the final All Black tour of the year through injury, in 2005 Spencer lost form early in the Super 12 competition and suffered a fractured cheekbone in training. He agreed to play for the New Zealand Māori against the touring Lions, as a player, Spencer is valued for his imaginative kicking and passing game, and his ability to unlock defences. He is a handy, if not entirely reliable, goal kicker, only four players have scored more test points than Spencer for New Zealand — Grant Fox, Andrew Mehrtens, Daniel Carter and most recently, Aaron Cruden. On 3 December 2011, Spencer stepped into the ring against Rugby Leagues Awen Guttenbeil in Fight for Life 2011 in Auckland
New Zealand /njuːˈziːlənd/ is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu—and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, the countrys varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealands capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland, sometime between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand, in 1840, representatives of Britain and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire, the majority of New Zealands population of 4.7 million is of European descent, the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealands culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, New Zealand is a developed country and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, economic freedom and quality of life. Since the 1980s, New Zealand has transformed from an agrarian, Queen Elizabeth II is the countrys head of state and is represented by a governor-general. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes, the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau, the Cook Islands and Niue, and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealands territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and called it Staten Landt, in 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand, Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand. It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the country before the arrival of Europeans. Māori had several names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South, in 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907, this was the accepted norm. The New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised and this set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, and South Island or Te Waipounamu
Robert Brent Russell is a South African rugby union player. He is a utility back who plays for Clermont in the French Top 14, previously, he had played with Saracens in England, and before that the Sharks in the Currie Cup and the Sharks in the Super 14 for many years. He featured frequently in the Springbok squad before his departure for Europe and he won 23caps and scored 40 points for his country. Russell was born in Port Elizabeth, but was schooled at Selborne College in East London and he was quickly brought up to international rugby level when he was selected for the 2002 Springboks team after making a good impression whilst in the national sevens team. However, he has not been able to break into the Boks lineup in recent years. He is a small player, but what he lacks in size and strength he makes up in speed, acceleration. He is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous players in South Africa for this very reason as he has the ability to score a try out of nothing. Unfortunately Russell is a victim of his own versatility, with coaches unsure in which position to place him, Russell signed for Saracens F. C. in time for their campaign in 2007.
In 2008 Russell signed for ASM Clermont Auvergne in the French Top 14, SA Rugby Player Profile – Brent Russell. ESPN Brent Russell Saracens Rugby Website
Time in Australia
Australia uses three main time zones, Australian Western Standard Time, Australian Central Standard Time, and Australian Eastern Standard Time. Time is regulated by the state governments, some of which observe daylight saving time. Australias external territories observe different time zones, Standard time was introduced in the 1890s when all of the Dominions adopted it. Before the switch to standard time zones, each city or town was free to determine its local time. Daylight saving time is used in South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, and it is not currently used in Western Australia, Queensland or the Northern Territory. The standardization of time in Australia began in 1892, when surveyors from the six Dominions in Australia met in Melbourne for the Intercolonial Conference of Surveyors, the delegates accepted the recommendation of the 1884 International Meridian Conference to adopt Greenwich Mean Time as the basis for standard time. The Dominions enacted time zone legislation, which took effect in February 1895.
The clocks were set ahead of GMT by eight hours in Western Australia, by nine hours in South Australia, and by 10 hours in Queensland, New South Wales, the three time zones became known as Eastern Standard Time, Central Standard Time, and Western Standard Time. Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales adopted Central Standard Time due to it being connected by rail to Adelaide but not Sydney at the time. In May 1899, South Australia advanced Central Standard Time by thirty minutes, in doing so, South Australia adopted a time meridian located outside its boundaries – another departure from international convention. Attempts to correct these oddities in 1986 and 1994 were rejected, when the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia and placed under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, that Territory kept Central Standard Time. Likewise, when the ACT was broken off from New South Wales, Australia has kept a version of the UTC atomic time scale since the 1990s, but Greenwich Mean Time remained the formal basis for the standard times of all of the states through 2005.
All states have adopted the UTC standard, starting on 1 September 2005, such instruments may be valid for only the current year, and so this section generally only refers to the legislation. In New South Wales and Western Australia, the starting and ending dates, during World War I and World War II all states and territories used daylight saving time. In 1968 Tasmania became the first state in peacetime to use DST, followed in 1971 by New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory did not adopt it. Queensland and Western Australia have occasionally used DST during the past 40 years during trial periods. The main DST zones are the following, Central Daylight Saving Time – UTC+10,30, in South Australia Eastern Daylight Saving Time – UTC+11, in New South Wales, the ACT, and Tasmania. During the usual periods of DST, the three time zones in Australia become five zones
The Bledisloe Cup is a rugby union competition between the national teams of Australia and New Zealand that has been competed for since the 1930s. New Zealand have had the most success, winning the trophy for the 44th time in 2016, there is some dispute as to when the first Bledisloe Cup match was played. The Australian Rugby Union contend that the one-off 1931 match played at Eden Park was first, the New Zealand Rugby Union believe that the first match was when New Zealand toured Australia in 1932. Between 1931 and 1981 it was contested irregularly in the course of rugby tours between the two countries, New Zealand won it 19 times and Australia four times in this period including in 1949 when Australia won it for the first time on New Zealand soil. The trophy itself was apparently lost during this period and reportedly rediscovered in a Melbourne store room, in the years 1982 to 1995 it was contested annually, sometimes as a series of three matches and other times in a single match. During these years New Zealand won it 11 times and Australia three times, since 1996 the cup has been contested as part of the annual Tri Nations tournament.
Until 1998 the cup was contested in a three series, the two Tri Nations matches between these sides and a third match. New Zealand won these series in 1996 and 1997, and Australia won it in 1998. In 1996 and from 1999 through 2005, the match was not played, during those years, Australia. If both teams won one of games, or if both games were drawn, the cup was retained by its current holder. The non-holder had to win the two games 2–0 or 1–0 to regain the Cup,2006 saw the return of the 3-game contest for the Bledisloe Cup as the Tri Nations series was extended so that each team played each other 3 times. The 2007 Cup, reverted to the two-game contest because the Tri Nations was abbreviated that year to minimise interference with the preparations for the World Cup. The Hong Kong match, which drew a crowd of 39,000 to see the All Blacks defeat the Wallabies 19–14, even before the match, the two countries rugby federations were considering taking Cup matches to the United States and Japan in 2009 and 2010.
Japan hosted a fourth Bledisloe Test match on 31 October 2009, each team is expected to clear at least A$3.8 million/NZ$5 million from the Tokyo match. However a 2010 fourth match was set in Hong Kong and has struggled to attract crowds, the three-match format for the Bledisloe Cup continued in 2012, with the first two matches taking place as part of the 2012 Rugby Championship. Since 1996, Fox Sports has televised it and they jointly televised it with Seven Network between 1996 to 2010, Nine Network in 2011 and 2012 and Network Ten since 2013. History of rugby matches between Australia and New Zealand Laurie OReilly Cup Rugby union trophies and awards
Rugby union, known in some parts of the world simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using a ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line. Historically an amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, World Rugby, originally the International Rugby Football Board and from 1998 to 2014 the International Rugby Board, has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886. Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland, early exponents of the sport included Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Madagascar, New Zealand, Tonga, Rugby union is played in over 100 countries across six continents, there are 101 full members and 18 associate members of World Rugby.
The Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place four years with the winner of the tournament receiving the Webb Ellis Cup. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere are major annual competitions. The origin of football is reputed to be an incident during a game of English school football at Rugby School in 1823. Although the evidence for the story is doubtful, it was immortalised at the school with a plaque unveiled in 1895, despite the doubtful evidence, the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after Webb Ellis. Rugby football stems from the form of game played at Rugby School, Old Rugbeian Albert Pell, a student at Cambridge, is credited with having formed the first football team. During this early period different schools used different rules, with pupils from Rugby. Other important events include the Blackheath Clubs decision to leave the Football Association in 1863, despite the sports full name of rugby union, it is known simply as rugby throughout most of the world.
The first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England, by 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, and in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun. 1883 is the year of the first rugby tournament, the Melrose Sevens. During the early history of union, a time before commercial air travel. The first two notable tours both took place in 1888—the British Isles team touring New Zealand and Australia, followed by the New Zealand team touring Europe, All three teams brought new styles of play, fitness levels and tactics, and were far more successful than critics had expected. After Morgan began singing, the crowd joined in, the first time a national anthem was sung at the start of a sporting event, in 1905 France played England in its first international match