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
Rugby Football Union
The Rugby Football Union is the governing body for rugby union in England. It was founded in 1871, was the sport's international governing body prior to the formation of what is now known as World Rugby in 1886, it promotes and runs the sport, organises international matches for the England national team, educates and trains players and officials. The RFU is an industrial and provident society owned by over 2,000 member clubs, representing over 2.5 million registered players, forms the largest rugby union society in the world, one of the largest sports organisations in England. It is based at London. In September 2010 the equivalent women's rugby body, the Rugby Football Union for Women, was able to nominate a member to the RFU Council to represent women and girls rugby; the RFUW was integrated into the RFU in July 2012. On 4 December 1870, Edwin Ash of Richmond and Benjamin Burns of Blackheath published a letter in The Times suggesting that "those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play."
On 26 January 1871 a meeting attended by representatives from 21 clubs was held in London at the Pall Mall Restaurant on Regent Street. The 21 clubs present at the meeting were: Blackheath, Ravenscourt Park, West Kent, Marlborough Nomads, Wimbledon Hornets, Civil Service, The Law Club, Wellington College, Guy's Hospital, Clapham Rovers, Harlequin F. C. King's College Hospital, St Paul's, Queen's House, Addison and Belsize Park; the one notable omission was the Wasps. According to one version, a Wasps' representative was sent to attend the meeting, but owing to a misunderstanding was sent to the wrong venue at the wrong time on the wrong day. Ealing Rugby Club received an invitation, but their representative stopped in a public house and missed the meeting; as a result of this meeting the Rugby Football Union was founded. Algernon Rutter was elected as the first president of the RFU, Edwin Ash was elected as treasurer. Three lawyers who were Rugby School alumni drew up the first laws of the game, which were approved in June 1871.
Although similar unions were organised during the next few years in Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, France, South Africa, the United States, the RFU was the first and therefore had no need to distinguish itself from others by calling itself the English RFU. Twenty-two rugby clubs from across the north of England met on 29 August 1895 in the George Hotel in Huddersfield, where they voted to secede from the Rugby Football Union and set up the Northern Rugby Football Union; the RFU took strong action against the clubs involved in the formation of the NRFU, all of whom were deemed to have forfeited their amateur status and therefore to have left the RFU. A similar interpretation was applied to all players who played either for or against such clubs, whether or not they received any compensation; these players were barred indefinitely from any involvement in organised rugby union. These comprehensive and enduring sanctions, combined with the localised nature of most rugby competition, meant that most northern clubs had little practical option but to affiliate with the NRFU in the first few years of its existence.
The RFU long resisted competitions and leagues fearing that they would encourage foul play and professionalism. The first club competition known as the R. F. U. Club Competition, took place in 1972. Following a sponsorship agreement it became known as the John Player Cup in 1976; the RFU agreed to the formation of a league pyramid in 1987. In 2005 the RFU began talks about a merger with the governing body for women's rugby union the RFUW. In September 2010 the RFUW was able to nominate a member to the RFU Council to represent women and girls rugby; the RFUW was integrated into the RFU in July 2012. In response to the faltering results of the England national team, Rob Andrew was appointed on 18 August 2006 by the RFU to the post of Director of Elite Rugby, to oversee all aspects of representative rugby in England from the regional academies to the full senior side, including senior team selection powers and the power to hire and fire coaches at all levels of English rugby. Andrew had the task of building bridges with the premiership clubs and the RFU in terms of players withdrawal from their club duties for international duties.
On 6 January 2011 his role of Director of Elite Rugby was scrapped in an overhaul of the organisation's structure. Chief executive John Steele opted to create a single rugby department divided into the areas of performance and development with the emphasis on "delivering rugby at all levels", with each area having its own director; the England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Scotland and Wales. They have won this championship outright on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful team in the tournament's history. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, when they won the tournament back in 2003, they were runners-up in 1991 and 2007. They are ranked fourth in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 19 Novembe
Welsh Rugby Union
The Welsh Rugby Union is the governing body of rugby union in the country of Wales, recognised by the sport's international governing body, World Rugby. The WRU are responsible for the running of rugby in Wales, overseeing 320 member clubs, the Welsh national team and National Leagues and Cups; the WRU is headed by chairman. The roots of the Welsh Rugby Union lay in the creation of the South Wales Football Club in September 1875; the rugby rules will be the code adopted." The South Wales Football Club was superseded in 1878 by the South Wales Football Union in an attempt to bring greater regulation to the sport and to select representatives from club sides to represent the international game. The SWFU though were poorly organised, although they arranged fixtures between a South Wales team and various English clubs, they were victims of fixture-clashes and were accused of lacking energy. In 1880, Richard Mullock, secretary of the Newport Athletic Club, decided to take matters into his own hands and without the backing of the SWFU organised an international match against England.
The match took place on 19 February 1881, was won by England seven goals, one dropped goal and six tries to nil. This heavy defeat lay the seeds for further reforms that would lead to the creation of the WRU. There is confusion regarding the official date of creation of the Welsh Rugby Union. In March 1880 nine teams met at the Tenby Hotel, Swansea with the intent of creating a new union; these teams are thought to have been, Cardiff RFC, Chepstow RFC, Haverfordwest RFC, Llandaff RFC, Llanelli RFC, Neath RFC, Newport RFC, Pontypridd RFC and Swansea RFC. The issue with accepting this meeting is that there is just oral repetition. On 12 March 1881, eleven clubs met in the Castle Hotel, Neath to form what would be accepted as a Welsh rugby union. After a humiliating defeat in the first Wales international rugby game, the Neath meeting was organised by Mullock to form a union that could organise regular international matches; the founding clubs of the WFU, as it was known, were Swansea C & FC, Pontypool RFC, Newport RFC, Merthyr RFC, Llanelli RFC, Bangor RFC, Brecon RFC, Cardiff RFC, Lampeter RFC, Llandovery RFC and Llandeilo RFC.
Strangely the oldest rugby club in Wales, Neath RFC are not recorded as being present though the meeting took place in the town of Neath. It is unknown if this was an oversight by the committee to record the presence of the club, or if Neath RFC did not attend; the fact that two of the main committee members of the SWFU, John Llewellyn and Sam Clark were Neath men, the creation of the WFU disbanded their union, is accepted as the reason for the absence of a Neath representative. The WRU was a founding member of the International Rugby Football Board, now known as World Rugby, in 1886 with Scotland and Ireland, with Mullock and Horace Lyne the Welsh representatives at the formal signing of the union in 1887, it wasn't until 1934 that the Welsh Rugby Union, was adopted. The WRU are responsible for the running of Welsh rugby, including 320 member clubs, the Welsh national team and National Leagues and Cups; the Welsh Rugby Union has a major role in the development of coaches and players throughout all ages for both men and women.
They own the home of Welsh rugby union, the 74,500 capacity Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, "an icon of the modern Wales". After the national team the next highest level of representation in Wales is the four regions based around top club sides, but representing a larger area; these regions came into being in 2003 when the WRU elected to reduce the current top tier of Welsh professional rugby union from nine clubs into five regions modelled on the successful Irish provinces and the Super Rugby franchises in South Africa and New Zealand. The WRU had hoped to reduce the teams to four regions but Cardiff and Llanelli argued for stand-alone status. After one year the Celtic Warriors region was closed down and the four surviving regional clubs are Cardiff Blues, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons, they play in European Professional Club Rugby and Anglo-Welsh Cup competitions. Each region may call up players from a set of club teams within their area; these top club sides play in the 14-strong Welsh Premier Division.
In August 2008 WRU chief Roger Lewis confirmed that the body was looking at a proposal to reinstate a fifth Welsh region, based in North Wales. Lewis admitted. In September 2008 a new North Wales Rugby development team was announced to be based in Wrexham. In the same month Llanelli Scarlets changed their name to Scarlets, believing the new name would better represent their region beyond Llanelli. Cyril Chambers Victor Albert George Child Villiers, 7th Earl of Jersey Sir J. T. D. Llewellyn Horace Lyne MBE Sir David Rocyn-Jones CBE Ernest Davies W. R. Thomas MBE Major T. H. Vile MBE Glyn Stephens Enoch H. Rees F. G. Phillips Lt. Col. P. R. Howells D. Hopkin Thomas D. E. Davies Wilf Faull MBE D. Ewart Davies Nathan Rocyn-Jones David Jones T. C. Prosser Glyn Morgan Ivor E. Jones CBE V. C. Phelps Kenneth Morgan Har
Japan Rugby Football Union
The Japan Rugby Football Union is the governing body for rugby union in Japan. It was formed November 30, 1926, organises matches for the Japan national team; the JRFU is one of only two federations from outside the Six Nations and The Rugby Championship with a seat on the executive council of World Rugby, the sport's international governing body. Former Japanese prime minister Yoshirō Mori served as the JRFU's current president until 2015, when Tadashi Okamura took over the position. Rugby union was first introduced to Japanese students at Keio University in Japan by Professor Edward Bramwell Clarke and Tanaka Ginnosuke, both graduates of Cambridge University, in 1899, it had been played at the treaty ports before that, between teams of long-term foreign residents and visiting ships' crews, garrisons etc. IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009 Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament Top League Microsoft Cup All-Japan Rugby Football Championship University championship rugby National High School Rugby Tournament With Japan's advantages of a superb infrastructure and the experience of co-staging the Football World Cup 2002 with Korea, the JRFU bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
The bid's catchphrase or slogan was "Making Rugby a Truly Global Sport". So far the Rugby World Cup has never been held outside the traditional rugby strongholds of the Northern and Southern hemisphere. In that sense, the slogan was a justified attempt to grow the game worldwide, make it a global sport; the JRFU gave the following reasons for holding the Rugby World Cup in Japan at a press conference held on September 22, 2004: 1. Rugby was introduced in Japan in 1899, has a proud history and tradition developed over the past 105 years. Japan is the leading Asian rugby country, the focal point of rugby in the region.2. Japan is the only Union in Asia that has participated in the last five Rugby World Cups.3. Japan has the 4th largest number of registered rugby union players in the world, behind only England, South Africa and France.4. Japan offers significant commercial opportunities through established relationships with major corporations based in Japan, including those involved in Top League.5.
Japan has a proud record of international sporting success, highlighted most by its outstanding achievement at the 2004 Olympic Games that surpassed all expectations.6. Japan has the state of the art stadiums, infrastructure and know-how required for a major sporting event such as Rugby World Cup largely in place, following its successful hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.7. The Government of Japan supports the growth of the game and endorses Japan’s bid to host Rugby World Cup 2011. Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who played rugby for many years, is a keen advocate and active supporter of the bid, a key figure in obtaining political support exercising significant influence.8. Japan’s hosting of the World Cup would fulfill the IRB’s goal of making rugby a global sport, it would increase competition and serve to narrow the existing divide between the Top Tier Nations and the Second Tier Nations for the good of the game in the long term. However, New Zealand won the hosting rights in 2011 in a process, much criticised for lack of transparency as at the last minute the voting was made secret thanks to an Irish RU proposal.
Reasons for JRFU not getting the cup were that the Union had never hosted a major rugby tournament before. As well as that, support for rugby in Japan was considered poor, with many foreign players based in Japan commenting on the Top League's low crowd numbers; the biggest factor in preventing Japan winning the bid was believed to be it leaving important bid details until its final presentation in Dublin. Many delegates had been instructed for. Having lost out to New Zealand for the 2011 World Cup, Japan put in bids for the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. On 28 July 2009, the IRB awarded them the 2019 Rugby World Cup, giving England the 2015 Rugby World Cup due to its strong financial status. In an effort to improve the overall standard of Japanese rugby, the JRFU created a new semi-professional Top League in 2003 with the season spanning 2003-04. In the second season the League was composed of the following company-sponsored teams: Canon Eagles Coca-Cola Red Sparks Honda Heat Kintetsu Liners Kobelco Steelers Kubota Spears NEC Green Rockets Nihon IBM Big Blue Ricoh Black Rams Panasonic Wild Knights Suntory Sungoliath Toshiba Brave Lupus Toyota Verblitz Yamaha Jubilo.
2003-4 Kobelco Steelers 2004-5 Toshiba Brave Lupus The Microsoft Cup is a knock-out tournament played between the top eight Top League teams. The winners of the first Microsoft Cup were NEC Green Rockets, who beat Toshiba Brave Lupus 24-19 on February 22, 2004. However, Toshiba won the 41st Japan Championship on March 21, 2004 when they beat Kobelco Steelers 22-10; the schedule for the 42nd All-Japan Championship was as follows: 2005 February 5 1. Fukuoka Sanix Bombs 47 Kanto Gakuin University 36 2. Waseda University 59 Tamariba club 5 February 12 3. Fukuoka Sanix Bombs 21 NEC Green Rockets 55 4. Waseda University 9 Toyota Verblitz 28 February 19 5. NEC Green Rockets 24 Yamaha Jubilo 13 6. Toyota Verblitz 24 Toshiba Brave Lupus 19 February 27 7. Final - NEC Green Rockets 17 Toyota Verblitz 13 Chichibunomiya Stadium Hakata no Mori stadium Japan national rugby union team Higashi Osaka
Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia; the winners are awarded the Webb Ellis Cup, named after William Webb Ellis, the Rugby School pupil who, according to a popular legend, invented rugby by picking up the ball during a football game. Four countries have won the trophy. New Zealand are the current champions, having defeated Australia in the final of the 2015 tournament in England; the tournament is administered by the sport's international governing body. Sixteen teams were invited to participate in the inaugural tournament in 1987, however since 1999 twenty teams have taken part. Japan will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and France will host in 2023. Qualifying tournaments were introduced for the second tournament, where eight of the sixteen places were contested in a twenty-four-nation tournament; the inaugural World Cup in 1987, did not involve any qualifying process.
In 2003 and 2007, the qualifying format allowed for eight of the twenty available positions to be filled by automatic qualification, as the eight quarter finalists of the previous tournament enter its successor. The remaining twelve positions were filled by continental qualifying tournaments. Positions were filled by three teams from the Americas, one from Asia, one from Africa, three from Europe and two from Oceania. Another two places were allocated for repechage; the first repechage place was determined by a match between the runners-up from the Africa and Europe qualifying tournaments, with that winner playing the Americas runner-up to determine the place. The second repechage position was determined between the runners-up from the Asia and Oceania qualifiers; the current format allows for 12 of the 20 available positions to be filled by automatic qualification, as the teams who finish third or better in the group stages of the previous tournament enter its successor. The qualification system for the remaining eight places is region-based, with a total eight teams allocated for Europe, five for Oceania, three for the Americas, two for Africa, one for Asia.
The last place is determined by an intercontinental play-off. The 2015 tournament involved twenty nations competing over six weeks. There were a pool and a knockout. Nations were divided into A through to D, of five nations each; the teams were seeded before the start of the tournament, with the seedings taken from the World Rankings in December 2012. The four highest-ranked teams were drawn into pools A to D; the next four highest-ranked teams were drawn into pools A to D, followed by the next four. The remaining positions in each pool were filled by the qualifiers. Nations play four pool games. A bonus points system is used during pool play. If two or more teams are level on points, a system of criteria is used to determine the higher ranked; the winner and runner-up of each pool enter the knockout stage. The knockout stage consists of quarter- and semi-finals, the final; the winner of each pool is placed against a runner-up of a different pool in a quarter-final. The winner of each quarter-final goes on to the semi-finals, the respective winners proceed to the final.
Losers of the semi-finals contest for third place, called the'Bronze Final'. If a match in the knockout stages ends in a draw, the winner is determined through extra time. If that fails, the match goes into the next team to score any points is the winner; as a last resort, a kicking competition is used. Prior to the Rugby World Cup, there was no global rugby union competition, but there were a number of other tournaments. One of the oldest is the annual Six Nations Championship, which started in 1883 as the Home Nations Championship, a tournament between England, Ireland and Wales, it expanded to the Five Nations in 1910. France did not participate from 1931 to 1939, during which period it reverted to a Home Nations championship. In 2000, Italy joined the competition. Rugby union was played at the Summer Olympic Games, first appearing at the 1900 Paris games and subsequently at London in 1908, Antwerp in 1920, Paris again in 1924. France won the first gold medal Australasia, with the last two being won by the United States.
However rugby union ceased to be on Olympic program after 1924. The idea of a Rugby World Cup had been suggested on numerous occasions going back to the 1950s, but met with opposition from most unions in the IRFB; the idea resurfaced several times in the early 1980s, with the Australian Rugby Union in 1983, the New Zealand Rugby Union in 1984 independently proposing the establishment of a world cup. A proposal was again put to the IRFB in 1985 and this time passed 10–6; the delegates from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa all voted for the proposal, the delegates from Ireland and Scotland against. The inaugural tournament, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, was held in May and June 1987, with sixteen nations taking part. New Zealand became the first champions, defeating France 29–9 in the final; the subsequent 1991 tournament was hosted by England, with matches
Rugby Federation of Armenia
The Rugby Federation of Armenia is the governing body for rugby union in Armenia. It was founded in 2000 and joined FIRA-AER as an associate member in 2002. Rugby Europe suspended the Rugby Federation of Armenia in November 2014 due to inactivity. Rugby was first played in the country in the 1960s, when Armenia was a republic within the Soviet Union. Armenia had its own representative team within the USSR, although it was not considered to be a proper national side. Armenian clubs including Yerevan Dinamo RC and Yerevan Spartak RC played in the top division of Soviet Championship and Soviet Cup; the rugby teams were disbanded due to the effects of the Armenia-Azerbaijan War and economic difficulties in Armenia during first years of independence in the early 1990s. Rugby in Armenia went into hibernation for a decade until the founding of the Rugby Federation of Armenia in 2000. Gagik Panikian become the RFA president in 2002 and the RFA joined FIRA-AER that year. National teams for sevens and fifteen-a-side were soon formed to play in European competitions.
As of 2012, there were three rugby clubs in Armenia: Ararat and Ureni. Rugby Europe suspended the Rugby Federation of Armenia due to inactivity in 2014. Armenia - the national men's rugby union team was formed in 2004 and was drawn from players of Armenian heritage in France; the team played at the 2004 European Championships, defeating Israel. Armenia 7s - the national men's rugby union seven-a-side team was formed in 2003. Armenia national rugby union team Rugby union in Armenia Official site: "Rugby Federation of Armenia". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Rugby Federation of Armenia Other sites: Armenian Rugby Supporters website Archives du Rugby: Armenie