Rugby union known in most of the world 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 rugby 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 an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end. Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014, there were more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million were registered players. World Rugby called the International Rugby Football Board and the International Rugby Board, has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members. In 1845, the first football laws were written by Rugby School pupils. An amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, making the game professional at the highest level for the first time.
Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included New Zealand, South Africa and France. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Madagascar, New Zealand and Tonga. International matches have taken place since 1871 when the first game took place between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh; the Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere are other major international competitions, held annually. National club or provincial competitions include the Premiership in England, the Top 14 in France, the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand, the National Rugby Championship in Australia, the Currie Cup in South Africa. Other transnational club competitions include the Pro14 in Europe and South Africa, the European Rugby Champions Cup in Europe, Super Rugby, in the Southern Hemisphere and Japan.
The origin of rugby football is reputed to be an incident during a game of English school football at Rugby School in 1823, when William Webb Ellis is said to have picked up the ball and run with it. 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, which former pupils introduced to their university. 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 former pupils from Rugby and Eton attempting to carry their preferred rules through to their universities. A significant event in the early development of rugby football was the production of the first written laws of the game at Rugby School in 1845, followed by the Cambridge Rules drawn up in 1848. Other important events include the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the Football Association in 1863 and the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871.
The code was known as "rugby football". Despite the sport's full name of rugby union, it is known as rugby throughout most of the world; the first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England in Edinburgh. Scotland won the game 1-0. By 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun. 1883 is the year of the first rugby sevens tournament, the Melrose Sevens, still held annually. Two important overseas tours took place in 1888: a British Isles team visited Australia and New Zealand—although a private venture, it laid the foundations for future British and Irish Lions tours. During the early history of rugby union, a time before commercial air travel, teams from different continents met; 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. Traditionally the most prestigious tours were the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa making a tour of a Northern Hemisphere, the return tours made by a joint British and Irish team.
Tours would last for months, due to the number of games undertaken. Touring international sides would play Test matches against international opponents, including national and county sides in the case of Northern Hemisphere rugby, or provincial/state sides in the case of Southern Hemisphere rugby. Between 1905 and 1908, all three major Southern Hemisphere rugby countries sent their first touring teams to the Northern Hemisphere: New Zealand in 1905, followed by South Africa in 1906 and Australia in 1908. All three teams brought new styles of play, fitness levels and tactics, were far more successful than critics had expected; the New Zealand 1905 touri
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
Spain national rugby union team
The Spain national rugby union team, nicknamed Los Leones, is administered by the Spanish Rugby Federation. The team annually takes part in the European Nations Cup, the highest European rugby championship outside the Six Nations; as of 11 September 2017, Spain is ranked 19th in the world. Rugby union in Spain dates back to 1901, although Spain did not play its first international until 1929, beating Italy 9–0 in Barcelona. Throughout the century, Spain played against other European opponents such as France, Romania, West Germany, the Soviet Union, Portugal; the team's greatest moment of success came in 1999, when Spain qualified for the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Despite being whitewashed, the team performed admirably in a group which included South Africa and Scotland. Today, Spain competes in the European Nations Cup against Georgia, Portugal and Russia. Spain has never been crowned European champions; the closest they've come to becoming European champions was in 2012, having beaten both Romania and Georgia and finishing second.
Many players have moved abroad to play professionally in France, in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 or expanded 2023 editions of the World Cup. The exact starting point of rugby union in Spain is unknown. Through the 1920s, the game gained popularity through universities in the country; the first Copa del Rey de Rugby was organized in 1926, won by Barcelona. An unofficial Spanish XV played France, including Yves du Manoir, in 1927, but it was organised by a rebel governing body. Spain played their first recognised match in 1929, winning 9–0 over Italy in the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc. During the 1930s the Spanish rugby team played sporadically in the 1930s, playing against the national teams of Italy, Morocco and Portugal. Due to the outbreak of World War II, rugby in much of Europe was suspended, this included Spain. Rugby operations throughout Europe were continued in the 1950s; this pattern of consistency continued somewhat in the 1970s. However, while no official games were played between Spain and the Home Nations or the SANZAR, some Spanish sides traveled to play against various foreign sides.
The 1980s proved to be somewhat of a golden age for Spanish rugby. The Spanish were thrashed 66–3 to the Māori, but came close to upsetting Argentina, losing only 28 to 19; the Spanish received Zimbabwe through various tests in the 80s. The Spanish recorded upsets, defeating Zimbabwe in Harare in 1984, winning 30–18. More impressive, the Spanish swept a two-game tour in Zimbabwe, a team that had appeared in the 1987 Rugby World Cup, winning 28–16 and 14–9 in Bulawayo and Harare. Other notable results in this period included beating Uruguay 18–6, as well as giving scares to the sides of England and Scotland, coming within 10 points of beating the Māori in 1988. By the end of the 80s, Spain was considered one of the best non-5 Nations teams in Europe, just behind Romania and the Soviet Union. Spain joined the IRB in 1987, after not being invited for the 1987 Rugby World Cup, despite the USSR declining an invitation; the 1990s provided a mixed fortune of eventual success. In the 1991 qualifying rounds, Spain toppled its first group consisting of the Netherlands and Belgium, all games being played at home.
However, Spain narrowly missed on qualifying for the Rugby World Cup, losing 19–6 against Romania, finishing third behind Italy and Romania. In 1992, Spain beat Romania for the first time in 1992, winning 6–0. Spain again nearly beat Argentina that same year. 1995 began in similar fashion to the 1991 campaign toppling the first group. However, Spain were placed in a group with Wales, losing the key fixture 54–0, again coming close, yet not close enough. Spain began their quest for 1999 Rugby World Cup qualification in Pool 3 of Round B of the European qualification, they won all four of their games in the round. They, along with Portugal advanced to the next pool round with Scotland, they finished qualified for their first Rugby World Cup. For the 1999 Rugby World Cup, Spain were in Pool A, along with South Africa and Uruguay, their first World Cup game was played against Uruguay, with Spain losing 27–15. They lost their subsequent pool games to Scotland and the Springboks by 40 points, both of which were played at Murrayfield.
They failed to score a try in the tournament, the only team in the World to have qualified but not scored a try in the World cup. Spain began 2003 Rugby World Cup qualifying games in May 2002. Spain advanced to Round 3 after defeating Portugal. However, they lost to both Italy and Romania, moved through to face Russia for a place in the repechage competition. Despite losing the first game in Madrid 3–36, looking dead in the water, Spain pulled off a unlikely victory, winning 38–22. Despite losing on aggregate, Spain went through the repechage due to Russia being disqualified for fielding ineligible players, they moved on to face the United States. Spain lost 62–13 and 58–13, again missing out
World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organises the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport's most recognised and most profitable competition, it organises a number of other international rugby competitions, such as the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Under 20 Championship, the Pacific Nations Cup. World Rugby's headquarters are in Ireland, its membership now comprises 120 national unions. Each member country must be a member of one of the six regional unions into which the world is divided: Africa, Americas North, Europe, South America and Oceania. World Rugby was founded as the International Rugby Football Board in 1886 by Scotland and Ireland, with England joining in 1890. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa became full members in 1949. France became a member in 1978 and a further eighty members joined from 1987 to 1999; the body was renamed the International Rugby Board in 1998, took up its current name of World Rugby in November 2014.
In 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to include rugby sevens in the 2016 Summer Olympics. World Rugby gained membership of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations in 2010; until 1885 the laws of rugby football were made by England as the founder nation. However, following a disputed try in an international between Scotland and England in 1884, letters were exchanged in which England claimed that they made the laws, the try should stand. Scotland refused to play England in the 1885 Home Nations Championship. Following the dispute, the home unions of Scotland and Wales decided to form an international union whose membership would agree on the standard rules of rugby football; the three nations met in Dublin in 1886. On 5 December 1887, committee members of the Irish Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby Union and Welsh Rugby Union met in Manchester and wrote up the first four principles of the International Rugby Football Board. England refused to take part in the founding of the IRFB, stating that they should have greater representation, as they had more clubs.
The England Union refused to accept the IRFB as the recognised lawmaker of the game. This led to the IRFB taking the stance of member countries not playing England until they joined, no games were played against England in 1888 and 1889. In 1890 England joined the IRFB; the same year, the IRFB wrote the first international laws of rugby union. In 1893, the IRFB was faced with the divide between amateurism and professionalism, nicknamed the "Great Schism". Following the introduction of working class men to the game in Northern England, clubs began paying "broken time" payments to players, due to the loss of earnings from playing on a Saturday. Cumberland County Union complained of another club using monetary incentives to lure players, leading to the IRFB conducting an enquiry; the IRFB was warned by all the chief clubs in Lancashire and Yorkshire that any punishment would lead to the clubs seceding from the union. The debate over broken time payments caused the 22 leading clubs in Yorkshire and Lancashire to form the Northern Rugby Football Union.
The competing unions' laws of the game diverged immediately. England's seats on the IRFB were reduced from six to four in 1911; the Australian Rugby Union, New Zealand Rugby Football Union and South African Rugby Board joined the board with one seat each in 1948, with England's seats being reduced to two, the same as the other home nations. The three Southern Hemisphere unions were given a second seat each in 1958; the French Rugby Federation was admitted in 1978 and the Argentine Rugby Union, Canadian Rugby Union, Italian Rugby Federation and Japan Rugby Football Union were admitted in 1991. In 2016, Georgia and the USA were added to the voting Council with one vote each. Additionally, current Council members Argentina and Italy were granted a second representative and vote; the six regional associations represented on the Council received an additional vote. It is thought. In 1983 and 1984 the Australian and New Zealand Rugby Football Unions each proposed hosting such a tournament; the following year the board committed to conduct a feasibility study.
A year there was another meeting in Paris, the Union subsequently voted on the idea. It was the South African Rugby Board's vote that proved to be crucial in setting up a tied vote, as they voted in favour though they knew they would be excluded due to the sporting boycott because of their apartheid policies. English and Welsh votes were changed, the vote was won 10 to 6; as at January 2017, World Rugby has 17 associated unions. Membership of World Rugby is a four-step process: A Union must apply to become an associate member of its Regional Union After all membership criteria are met, including one year as an associate member, the Union is admitted to the Regional Union as a full member After completion of stages 1 and 2, two years as a full member of a Regional Union, the Union may apply to become an Associate member of World Rugby; as an associate member, the union can participate in World Rugby funded tournaments but not the Rugby World Cup Following two years of associate membership of World Rugby, the union may apply to become a Full MemberRegional Unions Six regional associations, which represent each continent, are affiliated with World Rugby and help to develop the
World Rugby Under 20 Trophy
The World Rugby Under 20 Trophy is an international rugby union competition. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, World Rugby, is contested by 8 men's junior national teams with an under-20 age requirement; this event replaced the World Rugby's former age-grade world championships, the Under-19 and Under-21 World Championships. The inaugural tournament was held in June 2008, hosted with 8 teams participating; the World Rugby Under 20 Trophy is the second level of the World Rugby tournament structure for under-20 national sides. At the same time that the Trophy was launched, World Rugby launched an upper-level championship, featuring 16 teams in 2008 and 2009 and a reduced format for 12 teams from 2010 and onwards. Promotion and relegation between the Trophy and the Championship is in place; the winner of the Trophy will play in next year's Championship, while the last placed team at the Championship will be relegated to the Trophy for the next year. The inaugural tournament was held in 2008, hosted by Chile, won by Uruguay.
World Rugby's decision that the United States would host the tournament in 2012 was viewed as the United States taking a step closer towards hosting the Rugby World Cup. Legend = Hosts 1st = Champions 1st = Champions 2nd = Runners-up 3rd = Third place 4th = Fourth place WC = Competed in the U20 Championship q = Qualified - = Did not qualify Updated June 9, 2013. Official tournament site
World Rugby Pacific Challenge
The World Rugby Pacific Challenge the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup, is an annual rugby union football tournament held in Oceania since 2006. It is contested by national'A' teams from the Asia-Pacific region; the tournament is run by World Rugby through Oceania Rugby. The original IRB Pacific Rugby Cup featured two teams from each of the three Pacific Island countries of Fiji and Tonga; the competition followed the completion of Fiji's Colonial Cup, Samoa's National Provincial Championship and Tonga's Provincial Championship and provided player development pathway leading into the IRB Pacific Nations Cup. Since 2011, the tournament has been contested by national'A' sides, although some matches featured teams from Super Rugby academies in Australia and New Zealand. Teams from Japan and Canada have joined the tournament to compete with the three Pacific Island countries; the competing national'A' teams as of the 2018 season were: Fiji Warriors Junior Japan Samoa A Tonga A Summary of all Pacific Challenge winners and runners-up, for tournaments up to and including 2018: The Pacific Rugby Cup featured six representative teams, two from each Pacific Island country: The format was a single round-robin tournament with the top-placed team hosting a final against the second-placed to decide the title.
The Fiji Warriors won the competition twice, the Samoan teams won the Cup once each, Tautahi Gold claimed the title once for Tonga. From 2011, the three Pacific Island countries were represented by their national'A' teams, they were joined by Japan's national'A' team, Junior Japan, as the fourth core team in 2013. The itinerary included tour matches against Super Rugby academy opposition from Australia and New Zealand and included the following sides: The tournament was split into three stages with the core Pacific Cup teams playing Super Rugby academies in the first two stages in Australia and New Zealand, respectively. In the third stage, the Pacific Cup teams played each other in a single round robin, home or away, to decide the title. No finals were played and the team finishing on top of the combined table after all stages was the tournament winner; the Fiji Warriors won all three tournaments from 2011 to 2013. The format was expanded again in 2014 with Argentina's Pampas XV and four Australian academy teams joining the competition as core teams competing with the Pacific A sides.
The New Zealand development teams did not participate in 2014 and the tournament was held in Australia. Two pools were formed as follows: A single round robin was played in each pool with the top ranked sides from each playing in the final; the Pampas XV defeated Reds A in the final held in Sydney to win the title. Fiji Warriors defeated Samoa A in the play-off for third place; the Pacific Rugby Cup was held in Fiji. It returned to a being a tournament for national'A' teams, with Canada A replacing the Australian academy teams. Pampas XV won in 2015. Notes Teams listed are those. Results of the final matches are written so that the score of the team in each row is mentioned first. Contested by the national'A' teams of Fiji, Japan and Tonga. Canada A along with Argentina's Pampas XV competed in 2015. Contested by the national'A' teams of Fiji and Tonga. Japan A joined as a core team in 2013; the core teams played against Super Rugby academy opposition from Australia and New Zealand before meeting each other in a single round robin to decide the title.
No finals were played and team finishing on top of the table after all matches were completed was the tournament winner. In 2014, Argentina's Pampas XV and four Australian Academy sides were added as core teams. Two pools were formed and a single round robin played in each; the top ranked sides in each pool played off in the final for the title and the second ranked teams played off for third place. Notes: For the first five seasons, the tournament was contested by six teams; the format consisted of a single round-robin, home or away, the teams finishing in the first two positions on the table played in a final, hosted by the top ranked team, to decide the Pacific Rugby Cup title. Pacific Nations Cup Oceania Rugby official website