This fierce and fantastic game is nearly two hundred years old and is one of the most exciting spectator sports around.

  • In 1823 a pupil at Rugby school in Warwickshire was playing a game of football when he suddenly picked up the ball and ran towards the opposition’s goal
  • His name was William Webb Ellis, and through that act he later became credited with inventing the sport of Rugby Football
  • Pupils of several English public schools made rules for the sport and Rugby School produced the first set of written rules in 1845
  • Blackheath Football Club was founded in 1858 and is the oldest ‘open’ rugby club in the world
  • The International Rugby Board (IRB) was founded in 1886 to be the governing body for Rugby Union. The IRB still governs to date and currently has 115 National Unions
  • The Rugby Football Union was formed in 1871
  • On the 27th March 1871, the first Rugby Football international was played between England and Scotland
  • The first Rugby World Cup took place in 1987, with the All Blacks winning the tournament and the “William Webb Ellis Trophy”
  • England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003