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
Scotland national rugby union team
The Scotland national rugby union team is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship and participates in the Rugby World Cup, which takes place every four years; as of 18 March 2019, Scotland are 7th in the World Rugby Rankings. The Scottish rugby team dates back to 1871, where they beat England in the first international rugby union match at Raeburn Place. Scotland competed in the Five Nations from the inaugural tournament in 1883, winning it 14 times outright—including the last Five Nations in 1999—and sharing it another 8. In 2000 the competition accepted a sixth competitor, thus forming the Six Nations. Since this change, Scotland have yet to win the competition; the Rugby World Cup was introduced in 1987 and Scotland have competed in all eight competitions, the most recent being in 2015 where they were knocked out by Australia at the quarter-final stage in controversial circumstances. Their best finish came in 1991. Scotland have a strong rivalry with the English national team.
They both annually compete for the Calcutta Cup. Each year, this fixture is played out as part of the Six Nations, with Scotland having last won in 2018. In December 1870 a group of Scots players issued a letter of challenge in The Scotsman and in Bell's Life in London, to play an England XX at rugby rules; the English could hardly ignore such a challenge and this led to the first-ever rugby international match being played at Academical Cricket Club's ground at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, on Monday 27 March 1871. In front of around 4000 spectators, the Scots won the encounter by a try and a goal to a solitary try scored by England. England got revenge by winning the return match at the Kennington Oval, London in the following year; the Calcutta Cup was donated to the Rugby Football Union in 1878 by the members of the short-lived Calcutta Rugby Club. The members had decided to disband: the cup was crafted from melted-down silver rupees which became available when the Club's funds were withdrawn from the bank.
The Cup is unique in that it is competed for annually only by Scotland. The first Calcutta Cup match was played in 1879 and, since that time, over 100 matches have taken place. In 1882 the Home Nations Championship, the fore-runner of the modern Six Nations Championship was founded with Scotland, England and Ireland taking part; the Scots enjoyed occasional success in the early years, winning their first Triple Crown in 1891 and repeating the feat again in 1895, vying with Wales for dominance in the first decade of the 20th century. Further Triple Crowns wins for Scotland followed in 1901, 1903 and 1907. However, Scotland's triumph in 1907 would be the last for eighteen years as the First World War and England's dominance afterwards would deny them glory. In 1897 land was purchased, at Inverleith, Edinburgh, thus the SFU became the first of the Home Unions to own its own ground. The first visitors were Ireland, on 18 February 1899. International rugby was played at Inverleith until 1925; the SFU bought some land and built the first Murrayfield Stadium, opened on 21 March 1925.
In 1925 Scotland had victories over France at Inverleith, Wales in Swansea and Ireland in Dublin. England, the Grand Slam champions of the two previous seasons were the first visitors to Murrayfield. 70,000 spectators saw the lead change hands three times before Scotland secured a 14–11 victory which gave them their first-ever Five Nations Grand Slam. In 1926, Scotland became the first Home nation side to defeat England at Twickenham after England had won the Grand Slam five times in eight seasons; the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 brought rugby union in Scotland to a halt. The SRU cancelled all arranged trial and international matches and encouraged the member clubs to carry on as best they could; some clubs closed down, others amalgamated and carried on playing other local clubs and, teams from the armed forces stationed in their various areas. Internationals resumed in the 1946–47 season, although these were not formally recognised and no caps were awarded to participating players.
In January 1946, Scotland played and defeated a strong New Zealand Armed Forces team by 11–6. Scotland resumed full international matches in February 1947; the period after World War Two was not a successful one for Scotland. In 1951, the touring Springboks massacred Scotland 44–0 scoring nine tries, a record defeat. Scotland suffered 17 successive defeats between February 1951 and February 1955, scored only 54 points in these 17 games: 11 tries, six conversions, four penalties; the teams from 1955–63 were an improvement. There were no wins over England. Occasional wins were recorded against Wales and France. 1964 was a good year for Scotland. New Zealand were held to a 0 -- the last international match in which no points were scored; the Calcutta Cup was won 15–6, the first time since 1950 and they shared the Five Nations title in 1964 with Wales. In 1971 the SRU appointed Bill Dickinson as their head coach, after years of avoidance, as it was their belief that rugby should remain an amateur sport.
He was designated as an "adviser to the captain". Scotland were the first of the Home Unions to run a nationwide club league; this was introduced in 1973 and still flourishes today with several of the country's original clubs still much in evidence, such as Heriots, West of Scotland and the famous'border' clubs su
Stockbridge is a suburb of Edinburgh, located towards the north of the city centre, bounded by the New Town and by Comely Bank. The name is Scots stock brig from Anglic stocc brycg. A small outlying village, it was incorporated into the City of Edinburgh in the 19th century; the current "Stock Bridge", built in 1801, is a stone structure spanning the Water of Leith. The painter Henry Raeburn owned two adjoining estates, Deanhaugh and St Bernard's, which he developed with the assistance of the architect James Milne. Milne was responsible for the fine St Bernard's Church in Saxe Coburg Street. Ann Street, designed by Raeburn and named after his wife, is a rare early example of a New Town street with private front gardens; the eastern route into Stockbridge is marked by St Stephen's Church. This stands at the north end of St Vincent Street, its tower visible from the first New Town on the higher slope to the south. Intended to stand in the centre of Circus Place, it was redesigned and squeezed into its current restricted site on ground which falls at the southern edge of the Silvermills area.
It was designed by the architect William Playfair in 1827. It is unusual for its main church being raised by a storey, accessed by a tall but narrow flight of steps at its frontage, its clock pendulum is the longest in Europe. The church stands at the eastern end of St Stephen Street, a curving Georgian street of inhabited basement flats with ground floors accommodating a series of antique shops and offices. A small spur on its north side, St Stephen Place, leads to the old Stockbridge Market, of which the original entrance archway still stands. Parallel to St Stephen Street, to the south, lies Circus Lane, a mews lane, integrating both old and new buildings; the main road through Stockbridge is Raeburn Place, a street of mixed character, with numerous small shops at ground-floor level. The link from this street to the New Town is via North West Circus Place. Saunders Street, south of the bridge, was built in 1974 as part of a "slum clearance" programme; the medical centre to its east is part of the same scheme.
Gloucester Lane marks the line of the medieval road from the village to St Cuthbert's Church at the west end of Princes Street. One building close to the Stockbridge end, predates the New Town, it is a merchant's house built about 1790 from the stones of demolished buildings in the Old Town and was the birthplace of the painter David Roberts, who worked as a scene painter at Edinburgh's Theatre Royal and London's Covent Garden. Leslie Place, dating from the late Victorian period, joins the village to the western sections of the New Town: St Bernards Crescent. To the north of this is a less formal area of narrower streets: Dean Street; the north-eastern route out of the area, towards Leith, runs along Hamilton Place. Dean Bank spurs off this road, running alongside the Water of Leith. Hamilton Place holds both primary school. Saxe Coburg Street, a small Georgian cul-de-sac just to the north, leads to the small and bow-ended square of Saxe Coburg Place; this formal space was never completed due to ground level problems and Glenogle Baths were instead built on the corner of the square.
To the north, St Bernard's Row leads out past another little Georgian cul-de-sac, Malta Terrace, to Inverleith and the Botanic Gardens. Between Glenogle Road and the Water of Leith are eleven parallel streets, collectively known as the "Stockbridge Colonies", built between 1861 and 1911 by the Edinburgh Co-operative Building Company to provide low-cost housing for the artisan class; the streets are named including geologist and writer Hugh Miller. The colony houses are now coveted properties, due to their location near the Royal Botanic Gardens and Inverleith Park, ease of access to the city centre; this mineral water well is on the south bank of the Water of Leith, on an estate once known as St Bernard's. Just below a footpath is St Bernard's Well; the waters of the well were held in high repute for their medicinal qualities, the nobility and gentry took summer quarters in the valley to drink deep draughts of the water and take the country air. In 1788 Lord Gardenstone, a wealthy Court of Session law lord, who thought he had benefited from the mineral spring, commissioned Alexander Nasmyth to design a new pump room and ornate structure over.
The builder John Wilson began work in 1789. It is in the shape of a circular Greek temple supported by ten tall Doric order columns, based on Sibyl's Temple at Tivoli. In 1884 the lands were purchased by the edinburgh publisher William Nelson, who commissioned the current statue of Hygieia from David Watson Stevenson and presented the improved well to the city as a landmark. St Bernard's F. C. a once successful Scottish team but now defunct were named after the famous well and played in Stockbridge. The mosaic interior is by Thomas Bonnar; the superiority of much of the St Bernard's estate was purchased in the 1790s by Sir Henry Raeburn, who immediately began selling it off by feu charters, although he continued to live in St. Bernard's House until his death in 1823.. In the opening years of the 19th century George Lauder of Inverleith Mains acquired parts of these lands as evidenced by a charter whereby "Henry Raeburn, as retoured heir to Sir Henry Raeburn, Portrait Painter, his father, was seised on the 19 March 1824 in a p
The Scottish people or Scots, are a nation and Celtic ethnic group native to Scotland. They emerged from an amalgamation of two Celtic-speaking peoples, the Picts and Gaels, who founded the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century; the neighbouring Celtic-speaking Cumbrians, as well as Germanic-speaking Anglo-Saxons and Norse, were incorporated into the Scottish nation. In modern usage, "Scottish people" or "Scots" is used to refer to anyone whose linguistic, family ancestral or genetic origins are from Scotland; the Latin word Scoti referred to the Gaels, but came to describe all inhabitants of Scotland. Considered archaic or pejorative, the term Scotch has been used for Scottish people outside Scotland. John Kenneth Galbraith in his book The Scotch documents the descendants of 19th-century Scottish pioneers who settled in Southwestern Ontario and affectionately referred to themselves as'Scotch', he states the book was meant to give a true picture of life in the community in the early decades of the 20th century.
People of Scottish descent live in many countries. Emigration, influenced by factors such as the Highland and Lowland Clearances, Scottish participation in the British Empire, latterly industrial decline and unemployment, have resulted in Scottish people being found throughout the world. Scottish emigrants took with them their Scottish languages and culture. Large populations of Scottish people settled the new-world lands of North and South America and New Zealand. Canada has the highest level of Scottish descendants per capita in the world and the second-largest population of Scottish descendants, after the United States. Scotland has seen settlement of many peoples at different periods in its history; the Gaels, the Picts and the Britons have their respective origin myths, like most medieval European peoples. Germanic peoples, such as the Anglo-Saxons, arrived beginning in the 7th century, while the Norse settled parts of Scotland from the 8th century onwards. In the High Middle Ages, from the reign of David I of Scotland, there was some emigration from France and the Low Countries to Scotland.
Some famous Scottish family names, including those bearing the names which became Bruce, Balliol and Stewart came to Scotland at this time. Today Scotland is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, the majority of people living there are British citizens; the highest concentrations of people of Scottish descent in the world outside of Scotland are located in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in Canada and Southland in New Zealand, the Falklands Islands, Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. In the Early Middle Ages, Scotland saw several ethnic or cultural groups mentioned in contemporary sources, namely the Picts, the Gaels, the Britons, the Angles, with the latter settling in the southeast of the country. Culturally, these peoples are grouped according to language. Most of Scotland until the 13th century spoke Celtic languages and these included, at least the Britons, as well as the Gaels and the Picts. Germanic peoples included the Angles of Northumbria, who settled in south-eastern Scotland in the region between the Firth of Forth to the north and the River Tweed to the south.
They occupied the south-west of Scotland up to and including the Plain of Kyle and their language, Old English, was the earliest form of the language which became known as Scots. Use of the Gaelic language spread throughout nearly the whole of Scotland by the 9th century, reaching a peak in the 11th to 13th centuries, but was never the language of the south-east of the country. King Edgar divided the Kingdom of Northumbria between England. South-east of the Firth of Forth in Lothian and the Borders, a northern variety of Old English known as Early Scots, was spoken; as a result of David I, King of Scots' return from exile in England in 1113 to assume the throne in 1124 with the help of Norman military force, David invited Norman families from France and England to settle in lands he granted them to spread a ruling class loyal to him. This Davidian Revolution, as many historians call it, brought a European style of feudalism to Scotland along with an influx of people of Norman descent - by invitation, unlike England where it was by conquest.
To this day, many of the common family names of Scotland can trace ancestry to Normans from this period, such as the Stewarts, the Bruces, the Hamiltons, the Wallaces, the Melvilles, some Browns and many others. The Northern Isles and some parts of Caithness were Norn-speaking. From 1200 to 1500 the Early Scots language spread across the lowland parts of Scotland between Galloway and the Highland line, being used by Barbour in his historical epic The Brus in the late 14th century in Aberdeen. From 1500 on, Scotland was divided by language into two groups of people, Gaelic-speaking "Highlanders" and the Inglis-speaking "Lowlanders". Today, immigrants have brought other languages, but every adult throughout Scotland is fluent in the English language. Today, Scotland has a population of just over five million people, the majority of whom co
Marylebone Cricket Club
Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's cricket ground, which it owns, in St John's Wood, England. The club was the governing body of cricket in England and Wales and, as the sport's legislator, held considerable global influence. In 1788, the MCC took responsibility for the Laws of Cricket. Although changes to the Laws are now determined by the International Cricket Council, the copyright is still owned by MCC. For much of the 20th century, commencing with the 1903–04 tour of Australia and ending with the 1976–77 tour of India, MCC organised international tours in which the England cricket team played Test matches. On these tours, the England team was called MCC in non-international matches. In 1993, its administrative and governance functions were transferred to the ICC and the Test and County Cricket Board; the club's own teams are ad hoc because they have never taken part in any formal competition. MCC teams have always held first-class status depending on the quality of the opposition.
To mark the beginning of each English season, MCC plays the reigning County Champions. The origin of MCC was as a gentlemen's club that had flourished through most of the 18th century, including, at least in part, an existence as the original London Cricket Club, which had played at the Artillery Ground through the middle years of the century. Many of its members became involved with the Hambledon Club through the 1770s and in the early 1780s, had returned to the London area where the White Conduit Club had begun in Islington, it is not known for certain when the White Conduit was founded but it seems to have been after 1780 and by 1785. According to Pelham Warner, it was formed in 1782 as an offshoot from a West End convivial club called the Je-ne-sais-quoi, some of whose members frequented the White Conduit House in Islington and played matches on the neighbouring White Conduit Fields, a prominent venue for cricket in the 1720s. Arthur Haygarth said in Scores and Biographies that "the Marylebone Club was founded in 1787 from the White Conduit's members" but the date of the formation of the White Conduit "could not be found".
This gentlemen's club, multi-purpose, had a social meeting place at the Star and Garter on Pall Mall. It was the same club, responsible for drafting the Laws of Cricket at various times, most notably in 1744 and 1774, this lawgiving responsibility was soon to be vested in the MCC as the final repose of these cricketing gentlemen; when the White Conduit began, its leading lights were George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea and the Hon. Colonel Charles Lennox, who became the 4th Duke of Richmond. White Conduit was nominally an exclusive club that only "gentlemen" might play for, but the club did employ professionals and one of these was the bowler Thomas Lord, a man, recognised for his business acumen as well as his bowling ability; the new club might have continued except that White Conduit Fields was an open area allowing members of the public, including the rowdier elements, to watch the matches and to voice their opinions on the play and the players. The White Conduit gentlemen were not amused by such interruptions and decided to look for a more private venue of their own.
Winchilsea and Lennox asked Lord to find a new ground and offered him a guarantee against any losses he may suffer in the venture. Lord took a lease from the Portman Estate on some land at Dorset Fields where Dorset Square is now sited, it was called the New Cricket Ground because it was off what was called "the New Road" in Marylebone, when the first known match was played there on 21 May but, by the end of July, it was known as Lord's. As it was in Marylebone, the White Conduit members who relocated to it soon decided to call themselves the "Mary-le-bone Club"; the exact date of MCC's foundation is lost but seems to have been sometime in the late spring or the summer of 1787. On 10 & 11 July 1837, a South v North match was staged at Lord's to commemorate the MCC's Golden Jubilee. Warner described it as "a Grand Match to celebrate the Jubilee of the Club" and reproduced the full scorecard. On Wednesday, 25 April 1787, the London Morning Herald newspaper carried a notice: "The Members of the Cricket Club are desired to meet at the Star and Garter, Pall Mall, on Mon.
April 30. Dinner on table at half past five o'clock. N. B; the favour of an answer is desired". The agenda is unknown but, only three weeks on Saturday, 19 May, the Morning Herald advertised: "A grand match will be played on Monday, 21 May in the New Cricket Ground, the New Road, Mary-le-bone, between eleven Noblemen of the White Conduit Club and eleven Gentlemen of the County of Middlesex with two men given, for 500 guineas a side; the wickets to be pitched at ten o'clock, the match to be played out". No post-match report has been found but, as G. B. Buckley said, it was "apparently the first match to be played on Lord's new ground". A total of eight matches are known to have been played at Lord's in 1787, one of them a single wicket event; the only one which featured the Mary-le-bone Club took place on 30 July. It was advertised in The World on Friday, 27 July 1787: "On Monday, 30 July will be played a match between 11 gentlemen of the Mary-le-bone Club and 11 gentlemen of the Islington Club".
Buckley stated that "this is the earliest notice of the Marylebone Club". As with the inaugural match at Lord's, no post-match report of the inaugural MCC match has been found. There have been three Lord's grounds: the original on the Portman Estate and two on the Eyre Estate
Edinburgh Academical Football Club
The Edinburgh Academical Football Club known as Edinburgh Accies or Edinburgh Acads, is a rugby union club in Edinburgh, Scotland. At present it plays in Scottish National League Division One league, the second tier of Scottish club rugby; the club's home ground is Edinburgh. They are coached by Iain Berthinussen; the club fields three teams and is involved, with Broughton RFC and Trinity Accies RFC, in the BATs initiative, a community amateur sports club providing youth rugby across north Edinburgh. The club was formed in 1857 and is the oldest surviving football club of any code in Scotland, the second oldest rugby union club in continuous existence in the world, behind Dublin University Football Club, they were one of the founding members of the Scottish Rugby Union. In the 1873–74 season, they played ten matches, won all of them; the Accies' home ground, Raeburn Place, is the location of the first rugby international. Seven players of the original Scotland side were Academicals, including the captain, FJ Moncrieff, an Academical played for England that day.
In season 2007–08, the club's 1st XV finished second in Premiership Division 2, thereby securing promotion to the Premiership Division 1. That same season they experienced a successful Scottish Cup run, reaching the final with victories over Premiership 1 teams Currie and Boroughmuir; the team lost the final 24–13 to the Glasgow Hawks. The club played a match against the Barbarians in April 2008 to mark the club's 150th anniversary. A book was published, commissioned to celebrate the club's 150th anniversary,The Accies: The Cradle of Scottish Rugby. In season 2009–10 the club's 1st XV was relegated to Scottish Premier Division 2 after they lost to Heriot's FP in the last game of the season and on the same day Watsonian's beat Melrose. In season 2010–11 the club were Premier 2 League champions and returned to the top level of Scottish club rugby, the Premier 1 League, for the 2011–12 season, they remained in the Scottish Premiership after the restructure of the Scottish league system. Scottish League Championship, second tier Champions: 1996-97, 2010-11, 2017-18 Runners-Up: 2007-08, 2016-17 Scottish League Championship, third tier Champions: 1999-00, 2003-04 Scottish Cup Runners-Up: 2006-07 The following former Edinburgh Academical players have represented the British and Irish Lions.
The following former Edinburgh Academical players have represented Scotland at full international level in rugby union. The following former Edinburgh Academical players have represented their nations at full international level; the following former Edinburgh Academical players have represented both the Scotland rugby union team and the Scotland cricket team. The following have represented Scotland at full international level. Bath, Richard The Complete Book of Rugby Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby Official website'The Accies - The Cradle of Scottish Rugby' - Club history written by David Barnes
Rugby union positions
In the game of rugby union, there are 15 players on each team, comprising eight forwards and seven backs. In addition, there may be up to eight replacement players "on the bench", numbered 16–23. Players are not restricted to a single position, although they specialise in just one or two that suit their skills and body types. Players that play multiple positions are called "utility players"; the scrum must consist of eight players from each team: the "front row", the "second row", a "back row". The players outside the scrum are called "the backs": half back, first five, second five, two wings, a fullback. Early names, such as "three-quarters" and "outside-halves" are still used by many in the Northern Hemisphere, while in the Southern Hemisphere the fly-half and inside centre are colloquially called "first five-eighth" and "second five-eighth" while the scrum-half is known as the "half-back"; the backs play behind the forwards and are more built and faster. Successful backs are skilful at kicking.
Full-backs need to be good defenders and kickers, have the ability to catch a kicked ball. The wingers are among the fastest players in a team and score many of the tries; the centres' key attacking roles are to break through the defensive line and link with wingers. The fly-half can be a good kicker and directs the backline; the scrum-half retrieves the ball from the forwards and needs a quick and accurate pass to get the ball to the backs. Forwards compete for the ball in scrums and line-outs and are bigger and stronger than the backs. Props push in the scrums. Locks jump for the ball at the line-out after the hooker has thrown it in; the flankers and number eight should be the first forwards to a tackle and play an important role in securing possession of the ball for their team. There are a maximum of 15 players from each team on a rugby field at one time; the players' position at the start of the game are indicated by the numbers on the back of their shirts, 1 to 15. The positions are divided into two main categories.
In international matches, there are eight substitutes. The substitutes, numbered 16 to 23, can either take up the position of the player they replace or the on-field players can be shuffled to make room for this player in another position; the replacement players will have a number that corresponds with their intended replacement position with the numbers from 16 to 20 being forwards and 21 to 23 being backs. There are no personal squad numbers and a versatile player's position and number may change from one game to the next. Players can change positions with players on the field during the match, and, as long as the laws are followed, any player can change positions with another player during the match. Common examples are the fly-half playing the full-back's position in defence or a prop taking the hooker's position at line-outs. Different positions on the field suit certain skill sets and body types leading to players specialising in a limited number of positions; each position has certain roles to play on the field, although most have been established through convention rather than law.
During general play, as long as they are not offside, the players may be positioned anywhere on the field. It is during the set pieces and line-out, when the positions are enforced. During early rugby union games there were only two positions; the attacking possibilities of playing close behind the scrimmage were recognised. The players who stationed themselves between the forwards and tends became known as "half-tends", it was observed that the players outside scrimmage were not limited to a defensive role, so the tends and half-tends were renamed "backs" and "half-backs". As the game became more sophisticated, the backs positioned at different depths behind the forwards, they were further differentiated into half-backs, three-quarter-backs, full-back. Specialised roles for the scrum evolved with "wing-forward" being employed to protect the half-back; the first international between England and Scotland was played in 1871 and consisted of twenty players on each side: thirteen forwards, three half-backs, one three-quarter and three full-backs.
The player numbers were reduced to fifteen in 1877. Numbers were added to the backs of players' jerseys in the 1920s as a way for coaches and selectors to rate individual players; the various positions have changed names over time and many are known by different names in different countries. Players in the flanker positions were known as "wing forwards", while in the backs, "centre three-quarter" and "wing three-quarter" were used to describe the outside centre and wing The names used by World Rugby tend to reflect Northern Hemisphere usage although fly-half is still known as "outside-half" or "stand-off" in Britain, "outhalf" in Ireland. In New Zealand, the scrum-half is still referred to as the "half-back", the fly-half is referred to as the "first five-eighth", the inside centre is called the "second five-eighth" and t