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
The Baskerville Shield is a trophy awarded to the winner of rugby league test series between England and New Zealand. It named in honour of Albert Henry Baskerville, who organised the first tour by New Zealand of Great Britain in 1907; the spelling of the trophy is somewhat controversial, as there is much evidence to suggest that Baskiville was the correct spelling of the surname. However, the Rugby Football League used the Baskerville spelling arguing that this was the version used by the man himself. There is a trophy with this name awarded to the winner of the National Competition in New Zealand; the shield was inaugurated for the 2002 New Zealand tour of Great Britain and France in which New Zealand played eight games in Europe and one in Oceania, winning six of these, including three against British club sides and one against an England A team. The test series between New Zealand and Great Britain was drawn, with one draw; the New Zealand Rugby League agreed that Great Britain should keep the inaugural shield because it wasn't won outright.
In the 2007 New Zealand tour of Great Britain and France, Great Britain won the series 3-0 to retain the shield. The largest of these losses was a 0-44 result in front of 20,324 at the KC Hull; the tour was conducted as part of the celebrations of 100 years of New Zealand rugby league and was played in honour of the original 1907 tour. New Zealand played six games in total with five of these in Europe. After the tour, the Great Britain team was put on hiatus with the individual home nations taking priority on the international stage and as a result lengthy tours stopped taking place. In the 2015 New Zealand tour of England, the shield was contested between New Zealand and England as the Great Britain team had been retired in 2007. England won the shield 2-1; the tour was the first to Europe by an Australasian team since the previous tour by New Zealand in 2007. The tour took place because Australia pulled out of a similar tour that they had agreed to undertake; the tour was shorter than others with just four games taking place, three against England and one against Leeds Rhinos.
New Zealand won the Leeds game and the second test by just 9-2 in front of 44,393 at Olympic Stadium, London. England and New Zealand contested the Baskerville Shield again during the 2018 New Zealand rugby league tour of Great Britain. England won the shield 2-1, taking an unassailable lead with victories in the first two tests before New Zealand gained a consolation win in the final match. In 2017 it was confirmed that the Great Britain team would be revived and start touring again, which means that they will once again compete for the Baskerville Shield. Great Britain are scheduled to tour Australasia in 2019, which will be the first Baskerville Shield to be played out in the southern hemisphere; the 2015 series saw an average of 11,527 more people attend the three tests, this major increase owing to the test played at Olympic Stadium, London when 44,393 people were in attendance. Seven different stadiums have been used over the twelve tests. DW Stadium, Wigan has been used the most times with three tests held there.
The highest attendance in the history of the Baskerville Shield test series is 44,393, seen at the Olympic Stadium, the only game to be played outside of the traditional rugby league heartland of the north of England
New Zealand national rugby union team
The New Zealand national rugby union team, called the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men's rugby union, known as the country's national sport. The team has won the last two Rugby World Cups, in 2011 and 2015 as well as the inaugural tournament in 1987, they have a 77% winning record in test match rugby, are the only international men’s side with a winning record against every opponent. Since their international debut in 1903, they have lost to only six of the 19 nations they have played in test matches. Since the introduction of the World Rugby Rankings in 2003, New Zealand has held the number one ranking longer than all other teams combined; the All Blacks jointly hold the record for the most consecutive test match wins for a tier one ranked nation, along with England. New Zealand competes with Argentina and South Africa in The Rugby Championship; the All Blacks have won the trophy sixteen times in the competition's twenty-three-year history. New Zealand have completed a Grand Slam tour four times – 1978, 2005, 2008 and 2010.
The All Blacks have been named the World Rugby Team of the Year ten times since the award was created in 2001, an All Black has won the World Rugby Player of the Year award ten times over the same period. Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame; the team's first match was in 1884, their first international test match was in 1903 against Australia in Sydney. The following year, they hosted their first home test, a match against a British Isles side in Wellington; this was followed by a 34-game tour of Europe and North America in 1905, where the team suffered only one defeat – their first test loss, against Wales. New Zealand's early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By the 1905 tour, they were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, the name All Blacks dates from this time; the team perform a Māori challenge or posture dance, before each match. The haka has traditionally been Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate, although since 2005 Kapa o Pango has been performed.
Rugby union – universally referred to only as "rugby" in New Zealand – was introduced to New Zealand by Charles Monro in 1870. The first recorded game in New Zealand took place in May 1870 in Nelson between the Nelson club and Nelson College; the first provincial union, the Canterbury Rugby Football Union, was formed in 1879, in 1882 New Zealand's first internationals were played when New South Wales toured the country. NSW did not face a New Zealand representative team but played seven provincial sides – the tourists won four games and lost three. Two years the first New Zealand team to travel overseas toured New South Wales. A organised British team, which became the British and Irish Lions, toured New Zealand in 1888. No test matches were played, the side only played provincial sides; the British players were drawn from Northern England, but there were representatives from Wales and Scotland. In 1892, following the canvassing of provincial administrators by Ernest Hoben, the New Zealand Rugby Football Union was formed by the majority of New Zealand's provincial unions, but did not include Canterbury, Otago or Southland.
The first sanctioned New Zealand side toured New South Wales in 1893, where the Thomas Ellison captained team won nine of their ten matches. The following year New Zealand played its first home "international" game, losing 8–6 to New South Wales; the team's first true test match occurred against Australia on 15 August 1903 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in front of over 30,000 spectators, resulted in a 22–3 victory. A representative New Zealand team first toured the British Isles in 1905; the side is now known as the "Originals", as the "All Blacks" name emerged during this tour when, according to team member Billy Wallace, a London newspaper reported that the New Zealanders played as if they were "all backs". Wallace claimed that because of a typographical error, subsequent references were to "All Blacks"; this account is most a myth – because of their black playing strip, the side was referred to as the Blacks before they left New Zealand. Though the name All Blacks most existed before the trip, the tour did popularise it.
The Originals played 35 matches on tour, their only loss was a 3–0 defeat to Wales in Cardiff. The match has entered into the folklore of both countries because of a controversy over whether All Black Bob Deans scored a try which would have earned his team a 3–3 draw. In contrast to the success of the Originals on the field, the team did antagonise some in the Home Nations' rugby establishment; this complaint continued to dog New Zealand teams until the 1930s. The success of the Originals had uncomfortable consequences for the amateur NZRFU. In 1907, a party of professional players was assembled to tour the British Isles and play rugby league – a professional offshoot of rugby union, played by clubs that split from England's Rugby Football Union due to disagreements over financial compensation for players; when the "All Golds", as the team came to be known, returned they established rugby league in New Zealand, a large number of players switched to the professional code. English and Welsh authorities were alarmed by the threat of professionalism to rugby in New Zealand, in 1908 an Anglo-Welsh side undertook a tour to New Zealand to help promote the amateu
New Zealand national rugby league team
The New Zealand national rugby league team has represented New Zealand in rugby league since 1907. Administered by the New Zealand Rugby League, they are known as the Kiwis, after the native bird of that name; the team's colour's are majority black with white and the players perform a haka before every match they play as a challenge to their opponents. The New Zealand Kiwis are second in the RLIF World Rankings. Since the 1980s, most New Zealand representatives have been based overseas, in the professional National Rugby League and Super League competitions. Before that players were selected from clubs in domestic New Zealand leagues. A New Zealand side first played in a 1907 professional rugby tour which pre-dated the birth of rugby league football in the Southern Hemisphere, making it the second oldest national side after England. Since the Kiwis have competed in international competition, touring Europe and Australia throughout the 20th century. New Zealand have competed in every Rugby League World Cup since the first in 1954, reaching three consecutive tournament finals between 2000–2013.
In 2008, New Zealand won the World Cup for the first time. They contest the Baskerville Shield against England. Rugby football was introduced into New Zealand by Charles John Monro, son of the speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, Sir David Monro, he had been sent to Christ's College, East Finchley in north London, where he became an enthusiastic convert to the new code. He brought the game back to his native Nelson, arranged the first rugby match between Nelson College and Nelson Football Club, played on 14 May 1870; when New Zealand's national rugby team toured Britain in 1905 they witnessed the growing popularity of the breakaway non-amateur Northern Union's games. On his return in 1906, All Black George William Smith met the Australian entrepreneur J J Giltinan to discuss the potential of professional rugby in Australasia; the first New Zealand team to play professional rugby was known as the All Blacks. To avoid confusion, the terms professional. In the meantime, a lesser known New Zealand rugby player, Albert Henry Baskerville was ready to recruit a group of players for a Great Britain pro tour.
It is believed that Baskerville became aware of the profits to be made from such a venture while he was working at the Wellington Post Office in 1906. A colleague dropped a British newspaper. Baskerville picked it up and noticed a report about a Northern Union match that over 40,000 people had attended. Baskerville wrote to the NRFU asking; the 1905 All Blacks tour was still fresh in English minds, thus the NU saw the upcoming competitive New Zealand tour as exceptional opportunity to raise the profile and finances of the NU game. The NU agreed to the tour provided that some of those original All Blacks were included in the New Zealand team. George Smith arrived back in New Zealand and after learning of Baskerville's plans, the two teamed up and began signing players; the New Zealand Rugby Union became aware of the tour and promptly applied pressure to any All Black or New Zealand representative player it suspected of involvement. They had the New Zealand Government's Agent General in London deliver a statement to the British press in an effort to undermine the tour's credibility.
This had little effect and by that time the professional All Blacks were sailing across the Tasman to give Australia its first taste of professional rugby. It was during this time that references to the professional All Blacks as the All Golds first appeared. "All Golds" was a play on the amateur "All Blacks" name but it was an insult to the players, criticising the arrangement where they would each share in the wealth of the tour. The name "All Golds" is now thought to have originated in a New Zealand newspaper in May/June 1907, amidst editorial arguments over whether it was honourable for the proposed "professional All Blacks" team to be paid; the first documented use in Australia was in a headline in the Sydney Morning Herald, just before Baskerville's team arrived. Those same Herald articles had a tag for those who supported the amateur rugby union calling them the "Lily Whites"; the All Golds name is now carried by the Gloucestershire All Golds a Semi-professional team who are based in Gloucestershire and compete in the RFL League 1 Championship 1 and known as Kingstone Press League 1 for sponsorship reasons, is a professional rugby league competition based in England.
They take part in the annual Challenge Cup and League 1 Cup. The Club bears the name in honor of the 3rd test match played at the clubs home ground in Cheltenham. Professional rugby in the southern hemisphere kicked off with the professional All Blacks playing a professional rebel New South Wales team organised by Smith's contact, James Giltinan; the games drew little interest to start with, but were a major success for the rugby rebels of Australia, as they had the money to start the first professional Rugby Football League and hence change the face of rugby in Australia. New Zealand made it to Great Britain in 1907, they included Australian Dally Messenger in their party. He played in the two Tests which the All Golds won. At this time professional rugby, under the banner of the Northern Union, was not played by the RFU rules, all the All Golds knew; the All Golds took on a week of intensive training. From a New Zealander's point of view, the tour may not have been successful, but to
Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island, is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa, its latitude is 41°17′S, making it the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, is the world's windiest city by average wind speed; the Wellington urban area comprises four local authorities: Wellington City, on the peninsula between Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour, contains the central business district and about half the population. As the nation's capital since 1865, the New Zealand Government and Parliament, Supreme Court and most of the public service are based in the city. Architectural sights include the Government Building—one of the largest wooden buildings in the world—as well as the iconic Beehive.
Wellington is home to several of the largest and oldest cultural institutions in the nation such the National Archives, the National Library, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, numerous theatres. It plays host to many artistic and cultural organisations, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet. One of the world's most liveable cities, the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Wellington 12th in the world. Wellington's economy is service-based, with an emphasis on finance, business services, government, it is the centre of New Zealand's film and special effects industries, a hub for information technology and innovation, with two public research universities. Wellington is one of New Zealand's chief seaports and serves both domestic and international shipping; the city is served by the third busiest airport in the country. Wellington's transport network includes train and bus lines which reach as far as the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa, ferries connect the city to the South Island.
Wellington takes its name from Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor of the Battle of Waterloo: his title comes from the town of Wellington in the English county of Somerset. It was named in November 1840 by the original settlers of the New Zealand Company on the suggestion of the directors of the same, in recognition of the Duke's strong support for the company's principles of colonisation and his "strenuous and successful defence against its enemies of the measure for colonising South Australia". One of the founders of the settlement, Edward Jerningham Wakefield, reported that the settlers "took up the views of the directors with great cordiality and the new name was at once adopted". In the Māori language, Wellington has three names. Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara refers to Wellington Harbour and means "the great harbour of Tara". In New Zealand Sign Language, the name is signed by raising the index and ring fingers of one hand, palm forward, to form a "W", shaking it from side to side twice.
The city's location close to the mouth of the narrow Cook Strait leads to its vulnerability to strong gales, leading to the city's nickname of "Windy Wellington". Legends recount that Kupe explored the district in about the 10th century; the earliest date with hard evidence for Maori living in New Zealand is about 1280. Situated near the geographic centre of the country, Wellington was well placed for trade. In 1839 it was chosen as the first major planned settlement for British immigrants coming to New Zealand; the settlement was named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor of the Battle of Waterloo. European settlement began with the arrival of an advance party of the New Zealand Company on the ship Tory on 20 September 1839, followed by 150 settlers on the Aurora on 22 January 1840. Food processing plants, engineering industries, vehicle assembly and oil refineries were located in the NE which caused the main industrial growth in Hutt valley; the settlers constructed their first homes at Petone on the flat area at the mouth of the Hutt River.
When that proved swampy and flood-prone they transplanted the plans, drawn without regard for the hilly terrain. In 1865, Wellington became the capital city in place of Auckland, which William Hobson had made the capital in 1841; the New Zealand Parliament had first met in Wellington on 7 July 1862, on a temporary basis. There had been some concerns that the more populous South Island would choose to form a separate colony in the British Empire. Several Commissioners invited from Australia, chosen for their neutral status, declared that Wellington was a suitable location because of
History of rugby league
The history of rugby league as a separate form of rugby football goes back to 1895 in Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire when the Northern Rugby Football Union broke away from England's established Rugby Football Union to administer its own separate competition. Similar schisms occurred in Australia and New Zealand in 1907; the rugby played in these breakaway competitions evolved into a distinctly separate sport that took its name from the professional leagues that administered it. Rugby league in England went on to set attendance and player payment records and rugby league in Australia became the most watched sport on television; the game developed a significant place in the culture of France, New Zealand and several other Pacific Island nations, such as Papua New Guinea, where it has become the national sport. Although many forms of football had been played across the world, it was only during the second half of the 19th century that these games began to be codified. In 1871, English clubs playing the version of football played at Rugby School which involved much more handling of the ball than in association football, met to form the Rugby Football Union.
Many new rugby clubs were formed, it was in the Northern English counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire that the game took hold. Here rugby was a working class game, whilst the south eastern clubs were middle class. Rugby spread to Australasia the cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland. Here too there was a clear divide between more affluent upper class players; the strength of support for rugby grew over the following years, large paying crowds were attracted to major matches, particular in Yorkshire, where matches in the Yorkshire Cup soon became major events. England teams of the era were dominated by Yorkshire players; however these players were forbidden to earn any of the spoils of this newly-rich game. Predominantly working class teams found it difficult to play to their full potential because in many cases their time to play and to train was limited by the need to earn a wage. A further limit on the playing ability of working class teams was that working class players had to be careful how hard they played.
If injured, they had to pay their own medical bills and take time off work, which for a man earning a weekly wage could lead to financial hardship. In 1892, charges of professionalism were laid against rugby football clubs in Bradford and Leeds, both in Yorkshire, after they compensated players for missing work; this was despite the fact that the English Rugby Football Union was allowing other players to be paid, such as the 1888 British Isles team that toured Australia, the account of Harry Hamill of his payments to represent New South Wales against England in 1904. In 1893 Yorkshire clubs complained that southern clubs were over-represented on the RFU committee and that committee meetings were held in London at times that made it difficult for northern members to attend. By implication they were arguing that this affected the RFU's decisions on the issue of "broken time" payments to the detriment of northern clubs, who made up the majority of English rugby clubs. Payment for broken time was a proposal put forward by Yorkshire clubs that would allow players to receive up to six shillings when they missed work because of match commitments.
The idea was voted down by the RFU, widespread suspensions of northern clubs and players began. The professional Football League had been formed in 1888, comprising 12 association football clubs from Northern England, this may have inspired the northern rugby officials to form their own professional league. On 27 August 1895, as a result of an emergency meeting in Manchester, prominent Lancashire clubs Broughton Rangers, Oldham, Rochdale Hornets, St. Helens, Warrington and Wigan declared that they would support their Yorkshire colleagues in their proposal to form a Northern Union. Two days on 29 August 1895, representatives of twenty-two clubs met in the George Hotel, Huddersfield to form the Northern Rugby Football Union called the Northern Union. Twenty clubs agreed to resign from the Rugby Union, but Dewsbury felt unable to comply with the decision; the Cheshire club, had telegraphed the meeting requesting admission to the new organisation and was duly accepted with a second Cheshire club, admitted at the next meeting.
The twenty-two clubs and their years of foundation were: Batley FC 1880, Bradford FC 1863, Brighouse Rangers FC 1878, Broughton Rangers FC 1877, Halifax FC 1873, Huddersfield FC 1864, Hull F. C. 1865, Hunslet FC 1883, Leeds FC 1870, Leigh FC 1878, Liversedge FC 1877, Manningham F. C. 1876, Oldham FC 1876, Rochdale Hornets FC 1871, Runcorn RFC 1895, Stockport RFC 1895, St Helens FC 1873, Tyldesley FC 1879, Wakefield Trinity FC 1873, Warrington FC 1876, Widnes FC 1875, Wigan FC 1872. The rugby union authorities took drastic action, issuing sanctions against clubs and officials involved in the new organisation; this extended to amateurs who played with or against Northern Union sides. Northern clubs that existed purely for social and recreational rugby began to affiliate to the Northern Union, whilst retaining amateur status. By 1904 the new body had more clubs affiliated to it than the RFU; the separate Lancashire and Yorkshire competitions of the NRFU merged in 1901, forming the Northern Rugby Football League.
In 1901, James Lomas became the first £100 transfer, from Bramley to Salford. The NRFU became the Northern Rugby Football League in the summer of 1922. Similar schisms in football were threatened by the formations of