History of Rugby: How Did It Start

Image Source

Rugby is a team sport with close contact mechanics that many people worldwide enjoy. However, unlike other sports like football and basketball, it’s less popular than them. Still, they’re widely recognized as one of the most exhilarating games a sports fan can watch. 

If you’re new to rugby union, you’re up for a good ride. Here is a quick trip down memory lane on how World Rugby and the Women’s Rugby Union were founded.

World Rugby

The rugby game itself goes back to the 80s. A collection of clubs and boarding schools created a set of rules in 1863. Five years later, in 1871, the Rugby Football Union was officially formed, and the very first international match between England and Scotland took place in the same year. It was then years after, in 1987, the Rugby World Cup presented its first games in Australia and New Zealand, with France getting defeated by the All Blacks.

In case you may not know, World Rugby is the governing body of the rugby union. It organizes the Rugby World Cup, which takes place every four years. The Rugby World Cup is the most recognized rugby event among others. Moreover, World Rugby also holds several other international competitions, like the World Rugby Sevens Series, the World Under 20 Championship, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, and the Pacific Nations Cup.

The organization was formerly known as the International Rugby Football Board in 1886 by Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Then, England joined them in 1990. South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand joined four years later. Soon France became one in 1978, and 80 others from 1987 to 1999. World Rugby slowly established its organization as the years passed and continued to grow globally. 

However, World Rugby suspended the country of Russia from their international and European continental rugby union competition after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine until they were eventually suspended from the organization itself in March 2022. After that, nothing significant happened. Scheduled events and sports betting resumed.

Women’s Rugby Union

It may be a surprise that rugby union presents a women’s game even with this relatively intense physical sport. Moreover, the women’s rugby union also regulates the same laws used in men, including the same-sized pitch and equipment. It was only recently when women’s rugby union became popular, and thanks to the global tournaments, they significantly increased in popularity.

In the early years of rugby union, with the conservative background of most traditional people in history, women’s rugby was frowned upon by the public. Women were frowned upon from playing contact sports in the early 80s. Fortunately, people became more open-minded after the First World War, when women’s charity games were organized and documented at Cardiff Arms Park on December 16, 1917.

Although that may have been the case, In Sydney in 1921, two women’s rugby union teams played a game in front of a 30,000 audience. However, there was too much pressure from the authorities that ensured that they wouldn’t play again. Fortunately, in the 1960s, women’s rugby slowly laid its roots in the universities in Western Europe, where female students participated in matches.

Years later, the women’s rugby union was widely accepted, which established several women’s versions of other major rugby union tournaments. Although there were setbacks with establishing the women’s rugby union, they’re slowly being accepted to the main stage. In 2002, Scotland hosted their first women’s match, and in 2003, England also presented the first women’s International. In 2006, the Women’s Rugby World Cup was finally broadcasted live on the internet.

Who Has the Most Wins in the World Rugby Cup?

There were 25 teams who made a successful debut in the men’s Rugby World Cup. Since the commencement of the World Rugby Cup in 1991, there were already nine championships that took place. 

Throughout the years, New Zealand has already won three championships in 1987, 2011, and 2015. South Africa is also not far from the ranking, with three wins in 1995, 2007, and 2019. Meanwhile, just behind them is Australia with two (1991 and 1999), and England with one win in 2003.

On the other hand, 20 teams in the women’s Rugby World Cup took part, with Fiji in the ranks in 2021 New Zealand and only USA, Canada, France, and England who had the chance to play in every edition. 

Moreover, New Zealand is also the team who has the most wins in the women’s Rugby Cup, where they became consecutive winners for five years from 1998 until 2010, then in 2017. Next to them is England, where they took home two wins to their name in 1994 and 2014. Then, the USA for one win in 1991.

Final Thoughts

The rugby union still has many more things that it can offer. Although the sport already has a pretty established world organization and several famous global championships. Slowly but surely, rugby union is slowly taking over the world like a Wildstorm.