Introduction and History:
Rugby is a team sport which oriented in England in the first half of 19th century. Mostly people believe that rugby came into the world in 1823. William Webb Ellis with a fine disregard for the rules football, as played in his time in rugby school, first he took the ball in his arms and then ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of a rugby ball. The rugby world cup trophy is named after William Web Ellis.
Various rugby balls were played during the middle ages and are sometimes referred to as folk football or mob football. Such games were usually played between neighboring town and villages, involving a large number of players on opposing teams, who would fight or struggle to move an inflated pig’s bladder by any mean, possible to the makers at each end of the town. During the early period, different schools used different rules to play rugby.
The most significant event in the development of rugby football was the production of the first written laws of rugby game at rugby school in the year 1845 which was followed by the ‘Cambridge rules’ drawn up in 1848.
The first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England and Scotland won the game 1-0. By 1881 Ireland and Wales had representative rugby teams, and in 1883 the first international competition was organized. During the same year, the first rugby sevens tournament was held and it is 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; and the 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team brought the first overseas team to British spectators. James Ryan, the captain of the New Zealand Army team, receiving the Kings Cup from George V.
In the early history of rugby union, 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. The most prestigious tours were the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa making a tour of a Northern Hemisphere, and the return tours made by a joint British and Irish team. Tours would last for months, due to long traveling times and the number of games undertaken; the 1888 New Zealand team began their tour in Hawkes Bay in June and did not complete their schedule until August 1889, having played 107 rugby matches. Touring international sides would play Test matches against international opponents, including national, club 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, and were far more successful than critics had expected.
The New Zealand 1905 touring team performed a national game before each match, leading Welsh Rugby Union administrator Tom Williams to suggest that Wales player Teddy Morgan lead the crowd in singing the Welsh National Anthem. After Morgan began singing, the crowd joined in. For the very first time, a national anthem was sung at the start of a sporting event. In 1905 France played England its first international match against England.
Rugby union was included as an event in the Olympic Games four times during the early 20th century. No international rugby games and union-sponsored club matches were played during the First World War, but competitions continued through service teams such as the New Zealand Army team. During the Second World War, no international matches were played by most countries, though Italy, Germany, and Romania played a limited number of games, and Cambridge and Oxford continued their annual University Match. The first officially international rugby sevens tournament took place in 1973 at one of Scotland’s biggest stadiums Murray field. In 1987 the first Rugby World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand, and the New Zealand was the winner.
Teams and Positions
Each team begins the match with 15 players on the field and seven and eight substitutes. Players are then divided into seven backs and eight forwards.
The main responsibility of forward players is to gain procession of the ball. Players that are given this position are generally strong and bigger. The forward position is generally referred to as the “Pack”.
The front row usually consists of three players: two props and the hooker. Two props are then divided into the loosehead prop and the tighthead prop. The role of the two props is to support the hooker during the scrum, to provide support for the jumpers during line-outs and to provide strength and power in rucks and mauls.
The hooker is the key position in defensive and attacking play. The hooker is also responsible for winning the ball in the scrum. Hookers usually throw the ball in all line outs.
The second row consists of two locks or locks forward. Locks consist of tallest players in the team and specialize as line-out jumpers. In line out the main role of the locks is to make a standing jump, supported by other forwards, to either collect the thrown ball or ensure the ball comes down on their side. Lockers are also having importance in the scum.
The back row is the final row of the forward position. The back row is also called loose forwards. The three positions in the back row are the two flankers and the number 8. The two flanker positions called the blindside flanker and open side flanker, are the final row in the scrum. The main role is to gain the possession through turnover.
The role of the back is to create point-scoring opportunities. They are usually fast and small than the forwards. Another distinction between the backs and the forwards is that the backs are expected to have superior kicking and ball handling skills, especially the fly-half, scrum-half, and full-back.
There are two positions in half back; the scrum half and the sky half. In a team game plan, the fly-half ha a very intrigue role. The fly half are usually the first one who receive the ball from the scrum-half following a breakdown, lineout, or scrum, and need to be decisive with what actions to take and be effective at communicating with the outside backs. Many fly-halves are also their team’s goal kickers.
The scrum-half is the link between the forwards and the backs They receive the ball from the lineout and remove the ball from the back of the scrum, usually passing it to the fly-half.
There are four three-quarter positions, the inside center, outside center and left and right wings. The centers will attempt to tackle attacking players; whilst in the attack, they should employ speed and strength to breach opposition defense. The wings are generally positioned on the outside of the backline. Their primary function is to finish off moves and score tries. Wings are usually the fastest players in the team and are elusive runners who use their speed to avoid tackles.
The fullback normally positions himself several meters behind the back line. He fields any opposition kicks and is often the last line of defense should an opponent break through the back line. Two of the most important attributes of a good fullback are dependable catching skills and a good kicking game.
Rugby is played between the two team, the one who scores more points win the game. There are several ways to score the points. Scored by grounding the ball in the goal area is worth 5 points, and a continent kick score 2 point and a successfully plenty kick or catch drop scores 3 points.
The field of play on a rugby pitch is to a maximum of 144 meters and 70 meters wide. In actual gameplay, there should be a maximum of 100 meters between the two try-lines, with anywhere between 10 and 22 meters behind each try line to serve as the in-goal area. Stricter rules apply to the pitch size for matches between national representative teams.
In the start of the game, captains and the referee toss a coin to decide which team will kick off first. The game starts with a drop kick, with the players chasing the ball into the opposition’s territory, and the other side trying to retrieve the ball and advance it. If the ball does not reach the opponent’s 10-metre line the opposing team has two choices: to have the ball kicked off again or to have a scrum at the center of the half-way line. If the player with the ball is tackled, frequently a ruck will result.
The game is divided into 40-minute halves, with a break in the middle. The two opponents have to exchange the ends of the field after the half-time break. Stoppages for injury or to allow the referee to take disciplinary action do not count as part of the playing time so that the elapsed time is usually longer than 80 minutes. In the knockout stages of rugby competitions, two extra time periods of 10 minute periods are played. if the game is tied after full-time. If scores are level after 100 minutes, then the rules call for 20 minutes of sudden-death extra time to be played.
Passing and Kicking
Forward passing is not allowed in rugby game; the ball can be passed backward or laterally. The ball can be moved forward in three ways; by kicking, by a player running with it or within a scrum. Any player may kick the ball forward in an attempt to gain territory. If the player kicks directly into touch (i.e. without bouncing in-field first) from within one’s own 22-metre line, the lineout is taken by the opposition where the ball went into touch, but if the ball is kicked into touch directly by a player outside the 22-metre line, the lineout is taken level to where the kick was taken.
A scrum is a way of restarting the game safely and fairly after a minor infringement. It is awarded when the ball has been knocked or passed forward if a player takes the ball over his own try line and puts the ball down, when a player is accidentally offside or when the ball is trapped in a ruck or maul with no realistic chance of being retrieved. A team may also opt for a scrum if awarded a penalty.
A scrum is formed by the eight forwards from each team binding together in three rows The front row consists of the two props (loosehead and tighthead) either side of the hooker. The second row consists of two locks and the two flankers.
Replacement and substitutions
Players can be replaced and substituted for a specific reason. a player who has been replaced may not rejoin play unless he was temporarily replaced to have bleeding controlled; a player who has been substituted may return temporarily, to replace a player who has a blood injury or has suffered a concussion, or permanently, if he is replacing a front-row forward in international matches.
The main equipment used in rugby matches is the rugby ball itself, a rugby t-shirt and rugby short socks or boots. The rugby is oval in shape and usually made of for long panels. The ball is made up of leather but in the modern games, the rugby ball is made up of synthetic material. Protected equipment is optional, mouth guards are worn by all of the players, and is compulsory in some national rugby matches. Bandage or tape can be worn in order to support injuries.