Essex County Cricket Club
Essex County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Essex. Founded in 1876, the club had minor county status until 1894 when it was promoted to first-class status pending its entry into the County Championship in 1895, since when the team has played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. Essex play most of their home games at the County Cricket Ground and some at Lower Castle Park in Colchester; the club has used other venues throughout the county including Valentines Park in Ilford, Leyton Cricket Ground, the Gidea Park Sports Ground in Romford, Garon Park and Southchurch Park, both in Southend. Its limited overs team is called the Essex Eagles. County Championship – 1979, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1991, 1992, 2017Division Two – 2002, 2016Sunday/Pro 40 League – 1981, 1984, 1985, 2005, 2006Division Two – 2008Gillette/NatWest/C&G/Friends Provident Trophy – 1985, 1997, 2008 Twenty20 Cup - Benson & Hedges Cup – 1979, 1998 Second XI Championship - 1973.
The first definite mention of cricket in connection with the county is a controversial match in 1724 between Chingford and Mr Edwin Stead's XI, recorded in The Dawn of Cricket by H T Waghorn. The venue is unknown but, if it was at Chingford, it is the earliest reference to cricket being played in Essex as well as by an Essex team; the game echoed an earlier one in 1718 as the Chingford team refused to play to a finish when Mr Stead's team had the advantage. A court case followed and, as in 1718, it was ordered to be played out so that all wagers could be fulfilled. We know that Lord Chief Justice Pratt presided over the case and that he ordered them to play it out on Dartford Brent, though it is not known if this was the original venue; the game was completed in 1726. The earliest reference to a team called Essex is in July 1732 when a combined Essex & Herts team played against the London Cricket Club. In July 1737, there was London v Essex at the Artillery Ground. In a return game at Ilford on 1 August 1737, Essex won by 7 runs.
References are occasional until 1785 when the Hornchurch Cricket Club became prominent. This club had a strong team, representative of Essex as a county. However, the sources differed among themselves re whether the team should be called Essex or Hornchurch, but there is no doubt that Essex was a First-Class county from 1785 until 1794, after which the county strangely and abruptly disappeared from the records for a long time. Essex CCC were formed on 14 January 1876 at a meeting in the Shire Chelmsford; the new club did not become First-Class until 1894, playing its inaugural first-class match on 14, 15 & 16 May 1894 against Leicestershire CCC at Leyton. It was the initial First-Class match played by either club, Essex failed to win a match against any other county. In 1895, both of these clubs and Warwickshire CCC joined the County Championship. In the club's first championship match, of their first championship season, James Burns scored 114 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston and this was the first century for Essex in the First-Class cricket.
G. F. Higgins scored the second championship century for Essex in the same match putting on 205 with Burns for the fourth wicket; the club made an extraordinary score of 692 against Somerset with the available veteran Bunny Lucas scoring 145, but the most notable feat was by Walter Mead who took 17–119 against Hampshire CCC at Southampton. Essex improved from 1895, so that by 1897 they were in the running for the Championship, only losing it when Surrey beat them at Leyton, they fell off after this despite beating a fine Australian team on a dubious pitch in 1899, never finishing higher than sixth between 1899 and 1932. Their batting on Leyton's excellent pitches was good with the "Essex Twins" of Perrin and McGahey and the sound and skilful Jack Russell, but the bowling depended too much on Mead and Douglas and when available Louden. With the decline of these players, Essex fell to some of their lowest levels during the late 1920s, their bowlers conceded over 40 runs a wicket in 1928 – about the highest with uncovered pitches.
The emergence of Jack O'Connor, Stan Nichols and when available, the amateur fast bowlers Ken Farnes and Hopper Read, made Essex during the 1930s a dangerous if inconsistent side. They finished as high as fourth in 1933, owing to their pace bowling maintained as high a standard up to the outbreak of war; the batting, tended to depend too much upon O'Connor and a number of amateurs who were available, Essex lost too many games to break the North's stronghold on the Championship. After World War II Essex fell off, taking their first wooden spoon in 1950. During this period it was left to Trevor Bailey to do all the pace bowling, he was unavailable due to Test calls, whilst spinner Peter Smith was overbowled until he retired in 1951 – thus a strong batting line-up led by Bailey and Doug Insole could win games. Not until 1957 did Essex come back into the top half of the table, but Bailey and Barry Knight never had support of sufficient class to permit them to reach the top of the table when Robin Hobbs became England's last successful leg-spinner late in the 1960s.
In the 1970s, with overseas players now permitted, Essex were able to strengthen their team to achieve much more than they had
Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston; the county has an area of 1,189 square miles. People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians; the history of Lancashire begins with its founding in the 12th century. In the Domesday Book of 1086, some of its lands were treated as part of Yorkshire; the land that lay between the Ribble and Mersey, Inter Ripam et Mersam, was included in the returns for Cheshire. When its boundaries were established, it bordered Cumberland, Westmorland and Cheshire. Lancashire emerged as a major industrial region during the Industrial Revolution. Liverpool and Manchester grew into its largest cities, with economies built around the docks and the cotton mills respectively; these cities dominated the birth of modern industrial capitalism. The county contained the collieries of the Lancashire Coalfield. By the 1830s 85% of all cotton manufactured worldwide was processed in Lancashire. Accrington, Bolton, Bury, Colne, Manchester, Oldham, Preston and Wigan were major cotton mill towns during this time.
Blackpool was a centre for tourism for the inhabitants of Lancashire's mill towns during wakes week. The historic county was subject to a significant boundary reform in 1974 which created the current ceremonial county and removed Liverpool and Manchester, most of their surrounding conurbations to form the metropolitan and ceremonial counties of Merseyside and Greater Manchester; the detached northern part of Lancashire in the Lake District, including the Furness Peninsula and Cartmel, was merged with Cumberland and Westmorland to form Cumbria. Lancashire lost 709 square miles of land to other counties, about two fifths of its original area, although it did gain some land from the West Riding of Yorkshire. Today the ceremonial county borders Cumbria to the north, Greater Manchester and Merseyside to the south, North and West Yorkshire to the east; the county palatine boundaries remain the same as those of the pre-1974 county with Lancaster serving as the county town, the Duke of Lancaster exercising sovereignty rights, including the appointment of lords lieutenant in Greater Manchester and Merseyside..
The county was established in 1182 than many other counties. During Roman times the area was part of the Brigantes tribal area in the military zone of Roman Britain; the towns of Manchester, Ribchester, Burrow and Castleshaw grew around Roman forts. In the centuries after the Roman withdrawal in 410AD the northern parts of the county formed part of the Brythonic kingdom of Rheged, a successor entity to the Brigantes tribe. During the mid-8th century, the area was incorporated into the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria, which became a part of England in the 10th century. In the Domesday Book, land between the Ribble and Mersey were known as "Inter Ripam et Mersam" and included in the returns for Cheshire. Although some historians consider this to mean south Lancashire was part of Cheshire, it is by no means certain, it is claimed that the territory to the north formed part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It bordered on Cumberland, Westmorland and Cheshire; the county was divided into hundreds, Blackburn, Lonsdale and West Derby.
Lonsdale was further partitioned into Lonsdale North, the detached part north of the sands of Morecambe Bay including Furness and Cartmel, Lonsdale South. Lancashire is smaller than its historical extent following a major reform of local government. In 1889, the administrative county of Lancashire was created, covering the historic county except for the county boroughs such as Blackburn, Barrow-in-Furness, Wigan and Manchester; the area served by the Lord-Lieutenant covered the entirety of the administrative county and the county boroughs, was expanded whenever boroughs annexed areas in neighbouring counties such as Wythenshawe in Manchester south of the River Mersey and in Cheshire, southern Warrington. It did not cover the western part of Todmorden, where the ancient border between Lancashire and Yorkshire passes through the middle of the town. During the 20th century, the county became urbanised the southern part. To the existing county boroughs of Barrow-in-Furness, Bolton, Burnley, Liverpool, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, St. Helens and Wigan were added Warrington and Southport.
The county boroughs had many boundary extensions. The borders around the Manchester area were complicated, with narrow protrusions of the administrative county between the county boroughs – Lees urban district formed a detached part of the administrative county, between Oldham county borough and the West Riding of Yorkshire. By the census of 1971, the population of Lancashire and its county boroughs had reached 5,129,416, making it the most populous geographic county in the UK; the administrative county was the most populous of its type outside London, with a population of 2,280,359 in 1961. On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the administrative county was abolished, as were the county boroughs; the urbanised southern part became part of two metropolitan counties and Greater Manchester. The new county of Cumbria incorporates the Furness exclave; the boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, St. Helens and Sefton were included in Merseyside. In Greater Manchester the successor boroughs were
England national rugby union team
The England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Scotland and Wales. They have won this championship on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful outright winners in the tournament's history, they are ranked fourth in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 18 March 2019. 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. The history of the team extends back to 1871 when the English rugby team played their first official Test match, losing to Scotland by one try. England dominated the early Home Nations Championship which started in 1883. Following the schism of rugby football in 1895 into union and league, England did not win the Championship again until 1910. England first played against New Zealand in 1905, South Africa in 1906, Australia in 1909.
England was one of the teams invited to take part in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and went on to appear in the final in the second tournament in 1991, losing 12–6 to Australia. Following their 2003 Six Nations Championship Grand Slam, they went on to win the 2003 Rugby World Cup – defeating Australia 20–17 in extra time, they again contested the final in 2007. England players traditionally wear a white shirt with a rose embroidered on the chest, white shorts, navy blue socks with a white trim, their home ground is Twickenham Stadium where they first played in 1910. The team is administered by the Rugby Football Union. Four former players have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. Seven other former players are members of the IRB Hall—four for their accomplishments as players, two for their achievements in other roles in the sport, one for achievements both as a player and administrator; the expansion of rugby in the first half of the 19th century was driven by ex-pupils from many of England's Public Schools Rugby, upon finishing school, took the game with them to universities, to London, to the counties.
England's first international match was against Scotland on Monday 27 March 1871. Not only was this match England's first, but it proved to be the first rugby union international. Scotland won the match by a goal and a try to a try, in front of a crowd of 4,000 people at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh. A subsequent international took place at the Oval in London on 5 February 1872 which saw England defeat Scotland by a goal, a drop goal and two tries to one drop goal. In those early days there was no points system, it was only after 1890 that a format allowing the introduction of a points system was provided. Up until 1875 international rugby matches were decided by the number of goals scored, but from 1876 the number of tries scored could be used to decide a match if teams were level on goals. In 1875, England played their first game against the Irish at the Oval, winning by one goal, one drop goal and one try to nil. England defeated Scotland in 1880 to become the first winners of the Calcutta Cup.
Their first match against Wales was played on 19 February 1881 at Richardson's Field in Blackheath. England recorded their largest victory, defeating the Welsh by seven goals, six tries, one drop goal to nil and scoring 13 tries in the process; the subsequent meeting the following year at St Helens in Swansea was a closer contest. In 1889, England played their first match against a non-home nations team when they defeated the New Zealand Natives by one goal and four tries to nil at Rectory Field in Blackheath. In 1890 England shared the Home Nations trophy with Scotland. England first played New Zealand in 1905; the All Blacks scored five tries, worth three points at this time, to win 15–0. The following year, they played France for the first time, that year they first faced South Africa; the match was drawn 3–3. England first played France in 1905, Australia in 1909 when they were defeated 9–3; the year 1909 saw the opening of Twickenham as the RFU's new home, which heralded a golden era for English rugby union.
England's first international at Twickenham was in 1910 and brought them victory over Wales, England went on to win the International Championship for the first time since the great schism of 1895. Although England did not retain the title in 1911, they did share it in 1912. A Five Nations Grand Slam was achieved in 1913 and 1914 as well as in 1921 following the First World War. England subsequently won the Grand Slam in 1924 and as well as in 1925; this was despite having started 1925 with a loss to the All Black Invincibles in front of 60,000 fans at Twickenham. After winning another Grand Slam in 1928, England played the Springboks in front of 70,000 spectators at Twickenham in 1931. Following the ejection of France due to professionalism in 1930, which thus reverted The Five Nations back to the Home Nations tournament, England went on to win the 1934 and 1937 Home Nations with a Triple Crown, in 1935 achieved their first victory over the All Blacks; when the Five Nations resumed with the re-admission of France in 1947 after the Second World War
Lancashire County Cricket Club
Lancashire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Lancashire. The club has held first-class status since it was founded in 1864. Lancashire's home is Old Trafford Cricket Ground, although the team play matches at other grounds around the county. Lancashire was a founder member of the County Championship in 1890 and have won the competition nine times, most in 2011; the club's limited overs team is called Lancashire Lightning. Lancashire were recognised as the Champion County four times between 1879 and 1889, they won their first two County Championship titles in the 1904 seasons. Between 1926 and 1934, they won the championship five times. Throughout most of the inter-war period and their neighbours Yorkshire had the best two teams in England and the Roses Matches between them were the highlight of the domestic season. In 1950, Lancashire shared the title with Surrey; the County Championship was restructured in 2000 with Lancashire in the first division. They won the 2011 County Championship, a gap of 77 years since the club's last outright title in 1934.
In 1895, Archie MacLaren scored 424 in an innings for Lancashire, which remains the highest score by an Englishman in first-class cricket. Johnny Briggs, whose career lasted from 1879 to 1900, was the first player to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets for Lancashire. Ernest Tyldesley, younger brother of Johnny Tyldesley, is the club's leading run-scorer with 34,222 runs in 573 matches for Lancashire between 1909 and 1936. Fast bowler Brian Statham took a club record 1,816 wickets in 430 first-class matches between 1950 and 1968. England batsman Cyril Washbrook became Lancashire's first professional captain in 1954; the Lancashire side of the late 1960s and early 1970s, captained by Jack Bond and featuring the West Indian batsman Clive Lloyd, was successful in limited overs cricket, winning the Sunday League in 1969 and 1970 and the Gillette Cup four times between 1970 and 1975. Lancashire won the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1984, three times between 1990 and 1996, the Sunday League in 1989, 1998 and 1999.
They won the Twenty20 Cup for the first time in 2015. First XI honoursChampion County – 1881; as advised by the Association of Cricket Statisticians, the earliest known reference to the sport being played in the county has been found in the Manchester Journal dated Saturday, 1 September 1781. It concerned an eleven-a-side match played the previous Monday, 27 August, at Brinnington Moor between a team of printers and one representing the villages of Haughton and Bredbury, who were the winners; as Bredbury was in Cheshire, the match is the earliest reference for that county too. In 1816, the Manchester Cricket Club was founded and soon became the main north country rivals of Nottingham Cricket Club and Sheffield Cricket Club. On 23–25 July 1849, the Sheffield and Manchester clubs played each other at Hyde Park in Sheffield but the fixture was styled Yorkshire v Lancashire, it was the first match to involve a team using Lancashire as its name and is sometimes reckoned to have been the first Roses Match.
Yorkshire won by five wickets. Teams called Yorkshire, though based on the Sheffield club, had been active since 1833; the Roses Match is one of cricket's most famous rivalries. In 1857, the Manchester club moved to Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire cricket since. On Tuesday, 12 January 1864, Manchester Cricket Club organised a meeting at the Queen's Hotel in Manchester for the purpose of forming a club to represent the county. Thirteen local clubs were represented: Broughton, Longsight and Western from the Manchester area. Lancashire County Cricket Club was founded with the object of, it was said, "spreading a thorough knowledge and appreciation of the game throughout Lancashire", it was intended to stage home matches alternately at Old Trafford, Preston, Blackburn and at "other places to help introduce good cricket throughout the county". The new county club played its first-ever official game at Warrington against Birkenhead Park on Wednesday, 15 June 1864 but, not a first-class match; the first inter-county match, first-class, was played in 1865 at Old Trafford against Middlesex.
The early Lancashire side was reliant upon amateurs. During the early 1870s, the team was dominated by A. N. Hornby’s batting; the team's standard of cricket improved with the arrival of two professional players, Dick Barlow and Alex Watson. The impact of Barlow and Hornby was such that their batting partnership was immortalised in the poem At Lord’s by Francis Thompson; the team was further enhanced by A. G. Stee
Marlborough College is an independent boarding and day school in Marlborough, England. Founded in 1843 for the sons of Church of England clergy, it is now co-educational. For the academic year 2015/16, Marlborough charged £9,610 per term for day pupils, making it the most expensive day school in the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference – the association of British independent schools. Fees for full boarders are up to £12,175 per term, the 28th most expensive HMC boarding school; the Good Schools Guide described Marlborough as a "famous, designer label, co-ed boarding school still riding high." The school is a member of the G20 Schools Group. A sister school in Johore, Malaysia opened in 2012. Founded in 1843 for the education of the sons of Church of England clergy, the school now accepts both boys and girls of all beliefs. There are just over 900 pupils 45% of whom are female. New pupils are admitted at the ages of 13+ and 16. Marlborough was, in 1968, the first major British independent school to allow girls into the sixth form, setting a trend that many other schools followed subsequently.
The school became co-educational in 1989. The school has been pioneering in other fields, making a major contribution to the School Mathematics Project and initiating the teaching of Business Studies at A level; the traditional British boarding school system, known as fagging, where junior pupils became personal servants to the senior boys was abolished in the 1920s, Marlborough was one of the first public schools to do so. However, unofficial fagging did persist beyond this change for some time. In 1963 a group of boys, led by the future political biographer Ben Pimlott, wrote a book, Marlborough, an open examination written by the boys, describing life at the school; the writer and television critic T. C. Worsley wrote about predatory masters at the school in his critically acclaimed autobiography Flannelled Fool: A Slice of a Life in the Thirties. In 2005 the school was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel, exposed by The Times, which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents.
Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling three million pounds into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared. However, Mrs Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had always been exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business, were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with each other, were unaware of the change to the law, she wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general, saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the consumer. They are schools that have quite continued to follow a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had changed." The college is built beside the Mound. This was used as the motte of a castle. No remains of the castle can be seen today.
Radiocarbon dating of core samples in the early 2010s indicated that the Mound dates from 2400 BC. This is close to the dates established for Silbury Hill; the main focus of the college is the Court. This is surrounded by buildings in a number of different styles. At the south end is the back of an early 18th-century mansion converted to a coaching inn, bought as the first building for the school. Next to it are the old stables, now converted into boarding houses; the west side consists of the 1959 red brick dining hall, a Victorian boarding house now converted to other purposes. The north west corner is dominated by its Victorian Gothic style chapel by the architects George Frederick Bodley and Thomas Garner which has an interesting collection of pre-Raphaelite style paintings by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope and stained glass by William Morris; the rest of the Court is surrounded by buildings in styles ranging from the "Jacobethan" to classical Georgian and Victorian prison. The latter, B house, was designed by the Victorian architect Edward Blore, whose other works include the facade of Buckingham Palace and the Vorontsovsky Palace in Alupka, Ukraine.
On the other side of the Mound is the Science laboratory, built in 1933. It is an early example of shuttered concrete construction and was listed as a building of architectural significance in 1970. Pupils are assigned to one of the Houses on entering the school; this is where they live and make their home while at school. The Houses compete against one another in sports; the Houses are divided into In-College Houses which are gathered around the central Court and Out-College Houses which are located around the western side of the town. Unusually, the older In-College Houses were not given names but were referred to by an alphanumeric title. A reorganisation a few years ago combined some houses and eliminated some of the older numbered Houses. More created Houses have been given names either reflecting their location or commemorating a figure from the school's past; until 1967, when Turner House and Summerfield became the first all-age houses, all boys entering the school first joined a junior house for three or four terms.
There were five out-college junior houses – Priory and Upcot which were both closed in 1967, Barton Hill which became an all-age in-college house in 1974, Hermitage which had closed in 1911 but reopened 1974–77, El
Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Yorkshire; the club's limited overs team is called the Yorkshire Vikings. Yorkshire teams formed by earlier organisations the old Sheffield Cricket Club, played top-class cricket from the 18th century and the county club has always held first-class status. Yorkshire have competed in the County Championship since the official start of the competition in 1890 and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. Yorkshire are the most successful team in English cricketing history with 33 County Championship titles, including one shared; the team's most recent Championship title was in 2015, following on from that achieved in 2014. The club's limited-overs kit colours are Cambridge blue, Oxford blue, yellow with Mazars as the main sponsor. Yorkshire play most of their home games at the Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds.
Another significant venue is at North Marine Road Ground, which houses the annual Scarborough Festival. Yorkshire has used other locations including Bramall Lane, the club's original home; the team drew an average attendance of 8,417 to seven home games in 2015. Champion County – 1867, 1870. Sheffield Cricket Club was formed about this time and there are references to Sheffield matches in Derbyshire in 1757 and at Leeds in 1761. A club was formed in York in 1784. Bedale in North Yorkshire was a noted centre in the early 19th century, but cricket in most rural areas was slow to develop. Yorkshire cricket became centred around Sheffield, where it was more organised than in the rest of the county. From 1771, Sheffield played. Nottingham was the better side and Sheffield sometimes played with more players to give them a greater chance of victory; the Sheffield player Tom Marsden was regarded as one of the leading players in the country in the 1820s. Cricket increased in popularity after one of the 1827 roundarm trial matches was played at the purpose-built Darnall New Ground in Sheffield to evaluate the new style of roundarm bowling.
After this match, many new cricket clubs were formed in the county. In 1833, "Yorkshire" was first used as a team name, although it contained 11 Sheffield players, for a game against Norfolk at the Hyde Park Ground in Sheffield; the name may have arisen from a need to match the status of Norfolk as a county rather than a city. There were some differences in the organisation of the Yorkshire team vis-à-vis those called Sheffield as it included three amateurs while Sheffield teams were professional. Yorkshire, as such, played intermittently over the next thirty years but was not organised in any formal way; some of their opponents were Sussex in 1835. In 1849, Yorkshire played against a "Lancashire" team for the first time, though it was a Sheffield v Manchester match. By 1855, Sheffield and Yorkshire were playing at Bramall Lane. On 7 March 1861, during a meeting at the Adelphi Hotel in Sheffield, a Match Fund Committee was established to run Yorkshire county matches; the committee was made up from the management committee of the Bramall Lane ground and representatives from clubs willing to pay £1 to the fund.
But the committee was unable to persuade other clubs that it was not seeking to promote Sheffield cricket and a lack of funds prevented some matches being played in 1862. By this time, there were several cricketers with good reputations and the county team was one of the strongest in England. On 8 January 1863, Yorkshire County Cricket Club was formed. Membership cost a minimum of 10s and 6d. Like most first-class cricket clubs of the time, Yorkshire relied on private patronage with administrators "paying to serve" and "moneyed enthusiasts" acting as ready match sponsors; the majority of players were freelance professionals who were paid a usual match fee of £5, from which all travel and accommodation had to be paid. Travel could be arduous, living away from home could be "rough" and sometimes the match fee was not enough to cover expenses if, as was a problem with early Yorkshire cricketers, "the ale-house was a temptation"; the first club President was former player Thomas Barker, who had become Mayor of Sheffield, although he never attended any meetings.
Michael Ellison was the first club Treasurer and at some point early in Yorkshire's hi
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