When you hear the word ‘rugby’, what comes to mind? Sweating men in shorts? Scrumping and tackling? Or big men racing as quickly as they can and slamming into each other? Perhaps you’re also picturing dirty jerseys and grass-covered fields. If so, you have a pretty good idea of the sport.

Rugby is a team sport played by two teams of fifteen or thirteen players each. The game is played with an oval ball which is kicked, carried, and passed by hand. To score, players must ground the ball behind the opponent’s goal line or kick the ball over the opponent’s goalpost’s crossbar. It is a game that tests your strength, agility, and stamina in equal measure. It’s violent, painful, and sometimes bloody, but fun.

Rugby has been around for over a century, but it’s still not what people consider “normal” when they think of sports. In fact, it is regarded as one of the most brutal sports in the world. The way rugby players crash into each other is both terrifying and exciting. The idea of putting your body on the line like that, knowing that someone will come hurtling at you with the sole purpose of smashing you into the ground, seems ridiculous. Maybe it is, but somehow, it works. Hence, the game has a solid fan base who enjoy and bet on the sport. While it is not as famous as the likes of cricket and football, the sport enjoys relevance across many counties and has notable tournaments to its name. You can visit https://parimatch.in/ekn/cricet/live to bet on live cricket or any game of your choice.

Origin of the sport

Rugby is believed to have evolved from various pre-existing similar football sports. Some famous examples include New Zealand’s Ki-o-Rahi, Japan Kemari, Australia Marn Grook, Ireland Caid, etc. Although it is undeniable that the game originated from these previously existing football games, it is difficult to pinpoint a specific period in history when it began before it was recognized as rugby. However, the most precise origin of the sport can be traced back to mid-nineteenth century England, when it began at the Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. 

During the early phases of the sport, it was primarily prevalent in English public schools, prompting the need for written rules to govern the games. The first written rules of the games were established by William Delafield Arnold, W. W. Shirley, and Frederick Hutchins at the Rugby School, where the games initially gained prominence.

Early days of the sport

Rugby moved from England to other regions of the world, but it was not played professionally at the time. By 1857, the game had spread to Scotland, where it was first played between Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh Academicals. However, because of the rough nature of the game, the England Football Association (FA) prohibited players from carrying the ball in their hands, holding other players, or kicking other players; regulations that were eventually reinstated as the game evolved.

Modern rugby

By 1871, rugby clubs in England banded together to form the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The number of players for each rugby team was 20 then, but by 1877, it was reduced to 15. Another rule, scrummage, which required a tackled player to drop the ball for a restart, was also implemented, but the line of scrimmage eventually replaced it in 1880. 

As rugby became more popular in England, several new rugby clubs sprouted up. However, there were concerns about the number of working-class men from northern rugby clubs skipping their jobs to play rugby. Some Northern rugby clubs even gave monetary compensation to players who skipped work for games. As a result of these developments, the Rugby Football Association enacted a rule that prohibited receiving any monetary or material compensation for participating in a game.

The Rugby Football Union enforced these rules by sanctioning players and clubs engaged in the activity. 

The consequences included a ban on playing rugby at stadiums that charged an entrance fee and possible expulsion from the Rugby Football Union. This development led to the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union. At the time of its formation, the Northern Union began with 22 clubs, but within 15 years of the breakaway, more than 200 clubs left the RFU (Known today as the Rugby Union) for the Northern Union. This breakaway is known as the “Great Schism” in Rugby history. 

To make the sport more interesting, the Northern Union (now known as Rugby League) made some alterations to the game’s dynamics. Some of the changes include limiting the number of players in each team to 13, lowering the value of all goals to two points, etc. The Union also established new competitions, such as the Challenge Cup, which was a big success then. Today, there are still several variations in the game rules between the Rugby Union and the Rugby League.

Rugby as a professional sport

The Northern Rugby Football Union’s breakaway in 1895 established rugby as a professional sport with paid players. However, because players were still required to work full-time jobs at the time, they usually participated part-time. 

On the other hand, It wasn’t until the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa that the Rugby Union became professional.

Rugby is now played professionally in various regions of the world as either Rugby Union or Rugby League. The game is believed to have evolved into American and Canadian football.


Rugby is a physical sport that requires strength, agility, and stamina. Dating as far back as 1845, it has since evolved into a professional sport that is now played in various countries around the world. Don’t forget to visit Parimatch for an exciting betting experience.