Rugby football soon became one of the most significant sports in the promotion of English and, later, British imperial manliness. The game’s virtues were promoted by books such as Thomas Hughes’s Tom Brown’s School Days (1857). The cult of manliness that resulted centred on the public schools and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, where boys were sent to learn how to become young gentlemen. Part of the schoolboy’s training was a commitment to arduous physical activity, and, by the late 19th century, rugby and cricket had become the leading sports that developed the “civilized” manly behaviour of the elite.
This is to keep these novices from getting injured. Here, this player finds the right spot, catches the ball and grounds the ball in the in-goal area. Even beginners can score points. Getting into rugby is easy. Anyone can play, and the younger you start the better. Starting as a child is ideal as rugby is the perfect sport for getting super fit. rugby, football game played with an oval ball by two teams of 15 players (in rugby union play) or 13 players (in rugby league play).
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Many early players had some experience of the game in the north of England and took their interest with them to Wales. By the early 1880s rugby had become a vital part of working-class culture in south Wales, which distinguished the game there from its upper-class association in other parts of the British Isles.
Nevertheless, Rugby School, whose name has been given to the sport, was pivotal in the development of rugby football, and the first rules of the game that became rugby union football were established there in 1845. Rugby is now a popular sport in many countries of the world, with clubs and national teams found in places as diverse as Japan, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Uruguay, and Spain. Rugby among women is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. At the turn of the 21st century, the International Rugby Board (IRB; founded in 1886 as the International Rugby Football Board), headquartered in Dublin, boasted more than 100 affiliated national unions, though at the top level the sport was still dominated by the traditional rugby powers of Australia, England, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, and Wales.
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There were 20 or more French clubs by 1892, mostly in and around Paris. Soon the game diffused to southwestern cities such as Bordeaux, Lyon, and Perpignon, where it became the most popular team sport. France joined the British Home Championship in 1910 to create the Five Nations Championship. In France the game was governed by the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques, a multisports group, from 1887 and by the French Rugby Federation from 1920. French attitudes toward professionalism were much more relaxed than in the British Isles, which led the Home Nations unions to sever relations with France in 1932, though they were restored in 1945. France broke with the traditional British practice in rugby union of holding series of “friendly” matches rather than formal league competitions and in 1892 formed a national club championship.
As soon as the six Scottish clubs heard of the formation of the RFU, they issued a challenge to it for a match to be held in Scotland on March 27, 1871. The match was played in front of 4, 000 spectators, with each side scoring a try, though only Scotland could convert the try with a goal (see below Play of the game). Ireland began playing England in 1875 and Scotland in 1877.
Rugby is a full-contact sport. You have to learn to bring down your opponent. This takes toughness. Strength, craftiness and body control are of the essence. This is what is called a scrum. After many rule infringements play is often restarted with a scrum. The forwards on each team crouch and bind together. They then shove and push each other to get to the ball, which is thrown into the scrum from the side. The ball is thrown in and the forwards lift one of their teammates above the scrum, he, in turn, tries to catch the ball and pass it to a teammate. This is called a line-out and is done when the ball has gone into touch. During the scrimmage at the end of practice there is no tackling, that is no body contact.
It also spread to North America, where it was transformed into a new style of football. Northern HemisphereUnlike association football (soccer), which embraced player payments and league play in the 1880s, the RFU staunchly resisted professionalism, cup competitions, and leagues, though international rugby between England and Scotland began immediately.
Rugby is played both with the ball in hand and by kicking the ball. However, when the ball is being carried in hand it can only be thrown or handed off backwards. This is because it is the progress of the player and not the ball that is decisive in this sport. That is one difference between rugby and American football, although the two are often confused among laypeople. It is a sport anyone who has a pair of football boots, sports gear and a mouth guard can play. But before getting started, these players at the Frankfurt Rugby Club practice a bit of technique, as coordination and ball control are essential in this sport.
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It was believed that rugby football instilled in the “muscular Christian” gentleman the values of unselfishness, fearlessness, teamwork, and self-control. Graduates of these public schools and of Oxford and Cambridge formed the first football clubs, which led to the institutionalization of rugby. Once they had left school, many young men wanted to continue playing the game of their youth, and the early annual matches between alumni and current senior students were not enough to satisfy these players.
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Matters came to a head at an 1893 general meeting of the RFU, where the legalization of broken time payments was soundly defeated by southern clubs, which controlled a majority of the votes. On August 29, 1895, in the town of Huddersfield in Yorkshire, 22 of the leading clubs in the north of England resigned from the RFU and created the Northern Rugby Football Union, which became the Rugby Football League in 1922. The majority of northern clubs joined the Northern Union, but it failed in efforts to expand its influence farther afield within Britain. WalesIn Wales rugby clubs were established as town clubs in both large communities and small mining towns during the 1870s and ’80s.
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Rugby received bad publicity after a Richmond player was killed in a practice match in 1871, prompting leading clubs to respond to Richmond and Blackheath’s call for an organizational meeting. Thus, in 1871 members of leading rugby clubs met to form the Rugby Football Union (RFU), which became the governing body for the sport. By this time, hacking had largely disappeared from club rugby, though it remained a part of the game’s “character building” qualities at Rugby School. As a result of its continued adherence to the practice, Rugby School did not join the RFU until 1890. The growth of the gameRugby rapidly spread from its elitist origins in England, Scotland, and Ireland to middle- and working-class men in the north of England and in Wales and to the British colonies in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
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Wales had high levels of immigration in the late 19th century, and rugby emerged at this time as a focal point of a new modern Welsh nationalism. As a result, the Welsh Rugby Union formed in 1881, and Wales soon entered the Home Championship, competing with England, Ireland, and Scotland. Wales won its first title in 1893. Unlike England, a more competitive system arose in Wales, with a South Wales Challenge Cup being contested between 1878 and 1897 and an unofficial league system appearing by the 1930s. As the only team to defeat the powerful New Zealand team on its first tour of the British Isles, in 1905, Wales cemented its place as a dominant rugby power. FranceRugby union football spread more slowly outside the British Empire, though it was played in France as early as 1870.