5 Cool Facts About Rugby

TJ Perenara, New Zealand, RWC 2019.jpg

Ever since William Webb Ellis picked up the soccer ball and ran with it all the way back in 1823, the beautiful game of rugby has gifted players and fans around the world with its grace. In its history, rugby has touched the lives of many, and has created some incredible moments all across the globe. 

Here are five facts about rugby that may serve to pique your interest:

How It All Began

As the legend goes, in 1823 a boy by the name of William Webb Ellis was playing in a soccer game for his school, Rugby School, when the ball was kicked and landed in his arms. The boy then ran down the field with the ball in his hands, creating a new sport right then and there that would come to be known as "Rugby Football". His name is forever etched into rugby folklore, and every four years the William Webb Ellis Trophy is handed to the team that wins the Rugby World Cup. 


The All Blacks & Springboks Have Won The Most World Cups

Though rugby has been around since the 1800's, the World Cup didn't begin until 1987, when the first one was held in New Zealand. 

The New Zealand All Blacks won the inaugural competition on home soil, but didn't win another until 2011, which was also in their home country. They added one more to the trophy cabinet in 2015 at the World Cup in England, giving them a total of three, tied for the most of any country. 

The other country with three, South Africa Springboks, are the current World champions after winning the 2019 World Cup in Japan. The Springboks also reached World Cup glory at the 1995 World Cup on their home soil and in the 2007 World Cup in France. 


It Wasn't Officially Professional Until 1995

Believe it or not, rugby has only been professional for 25 years! Until the 1995 World Cup, rugby was recognized by IRB (the official governing body) as an amateur sport. Though players made stipends and collected small amounts of money before then, open and unrestricted payments were not permitted anywhere. The professionalism of the sport ignited the inception of trans-national competitions like the Heineken Cup and Super Rugby. 

England Is The Only Northern Team To Win The World Cup

England is still the one and only team north of the equator to win a Rugby World Cup, having won the title in 2003 in Australia following Jonny Wilkinson's legendary kick to win it. 

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Australia has won the other two World Cups, in 1991 and 1999, while northern hemisphere sides France (1987, 1999, 2011) and England (1991, 2007, 2019) have both lost in the final three times.

The All Blacks Have a Winning Record Against Everyone

Few teams in any sport have been as impressive as the All Blacks throughout history. Since their first game in 1903, the All Blacks have won 77% of their games. What's more impressive is that they have a winning record against all 22 teams they have played. 

The two sides that have given the All Blacks the most trouble all time are fellow Tri-Nations foes Australia and South Africa. The All Blacks own a 115-44-7 record against Australia and a 59-36-4 record against South Africa.

How to Watch Autumn Nations Cup: Wales vs Italy

Wales vs Italy

Italy and Wales will face off for fifth place as they look to finish off their Autumn Nations Cup run with a win. 

How to Watch Autumn Nations Cup: Ireland vs Scotland

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Both teams had some decent showings in pool play. Ireland's lone loss came to championship contender England in the second round in a hard fought contest. They will look to finish out the Autumn Nations Cup on a good note with a win over Scotland.

How to Watch England vs France In Autumn Nations Cup Championship

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England and France will be looking to stay flawless at the Autumn Nations Cup as they meet with the title on the on line. 

Autumn Nations Cup Notebook: Stage Is Set For Massive Title Bout

Georgia

Round 3 was highlighted most by the efforts of the Georgians, who pushed Ireland for 80 minutes in Dublin. 

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England Looking To Stay Perfect Against Wales

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England has been rolling. 

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Autumn Nations Cup Notebook #2: Contenders & Pretenders Revealed

Highlight: Wales vs Georgia

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The second weekend of Autumn Nations Cup action served up two of the most anticipated clashes of the tournament.

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What Did We Learn From Stars vs Stripes Scrimmage?

Replay: USA Women Stars vs Stripes

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With the news that two players in and around the Eagles camp tested positive for coronavirus this week, the second Stars vs Stripes match was cancelled. 

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USA Rugby Cancels Second Stars vs Stripes Game Due To Positive Covid Test

USA Rugby

During Friday’s scheduled screening, two Women’s XVs players tested positive for COVID-19. 

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Can Ireland Handle England's Knockout Power?

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England is red hot coming off a title run at Six Nations and an absolute waxing of Georgia to the tune of a 40-0 shutout in its first Autumn Nations Cup game a week ago. 

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Women's National Team XVs Rosters For Stars vs Stripes Scrimmage Series

Stars vs Stripes

Head Coach Rob Cain has announced a 49-player roster for the Women’s National Team XVs’ scrimmage series to happen November 18 and 21, KO 2 PM MT, at the Rugby Town National Training Center. 

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