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Six Nations View all tables. View full table. Fixtures View all. View all fixtures. Results View all. View all results. The premier international competition in rugby union for women is the Women's Rugby World Cup , first held in ; from through , it was held every four years.
The most important competition in rugby union is the Rugby World Cup , a men's tournament that has taken place every four years since the inaugural event in South Africa are the reigning champions, having defeated England in the final of the Rugby World Cup in Yokohama.
New Zealand and South Africa have each won the title three times New Zealand: , , ; South Africa: , , , Australia have won twice and , and England once The Rugby World Cup has continued to grow since its inception in The Rugby League World Cup dates from in contrast.
Ticket sales during the pool stages and finals of the same tournament was less than a million. The World Cup was contested by 94 countries with ticket sales of 3,, over the pool and final stage.
The accumulated television audience for the event, then broadcast to countries, was a claimed 4. It was the ninth edition and the first time the tournament has been held in Asia.
Following the first internationals between England and Scotland, Ireland and Wales began competing in the s, forming the Home International Championships.
The Rugby Championship is the Southern Hemisphere's annual international series for that region's top national teams. From its inception in through , it was known as the Tri Nations, as it featured the hemisphere's traditional powers of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In a new system was introduced where each nation plays the others three times, though in and the teams played each other only twice, as both were World Cup years.
The competition reverted to the Tri Nations' original home-and-away format, but now involving four teams. In World Cup years, an abbreviated tournament is held in which each team plays the others only once.
Rugby union was played at the Olympic Games in , , and In , France won the gold, beating Great Britain 27 points to 8 and defeating Germany 27 points to In , the United States again defeated France 17 to 3, becoming the only team to win gold twice in the sport.
In the International Olympic Committee voted with a majority of 81 to 8 that rugby union be reinstated as an Olympic sport in at least the and games, but in the sevens, 4-day tournament format.
In the and editions of the games, both the usual fifteen-a-side variety and rugby sevens were played, but from onwards, only rugby sevens was retained.
In , the women's rugby sevens event was introduced. The event is likely to remain a permanent fixture of the Asian Games due to elevation of rugby sevens as an Olympic sport from the Olympics onwards.
The present gold medal holders in the sevens tournament, held in , are Japan in the men's event and China in the women's.
Women's international rugby union began in , with a match between France and the Netherlands played in Utrecht.
The New Zealand Women's team then won four straight World Cups , , ,  before England won in Following the event, World Rugby moved the next edition of the event to , with a new four-year cycle from that point forward.
As well as the Women's Rugby World Cup there are also other regular tournaments, including a Six Nations , run in parallel to the men's competition.
The Women's Six Nations, first played in has been dominated by England, who have won the tournament on 14 occasions, including a run of seven consecutive wins from to However, since then, England have won only in ; reigning champion France have won in each even-numbered year , , whilst Ireland won in and Rugby union has been professionalised since The following table shows professional and semi-professional rugby union competitions.
Rugby union has spawned several variants of the full-contact, a-side game. The two most common differences in adapted versions are fewer players and reduced player contact.
The oldest variant is rugby sevens sometimes 7s or VIIs , a fast-paced game which originated in Melrose , Scotland in In rugby sevens, there are only seven players per side, and each half is normally seven minutes.
Major tournaments include the Hong Kong Sevens and Dubai Sevens , both held in areas not normally associated with the highest levels of the a-side game.
A more recent variant of the sport is rugby tens 10s or Xs , a Malaysian invention with ten players per side. Touch rugby , in which "tackles" are made by simply touching the ball carrier with two hands, is popular both as a training game and more formally as a mixed sex version of the sport played by both children and adults.
Several variants have been created to introduce the sport to children with a less physical contact. Tag Rugby is a version in which the players wear a belt with two tags attached by velcro, the removal of either counting as a 'tackle'.
Tag Rugby also varies in that kicking the ball is not allowed. Other less formal variants include beach rugby and snow rugby.
Rugby league was formed after the Northern Union broke from the Rugby Football Union in a disagreement over payment to players.
It went on to change its laws and became a football code in its own right. The two sports continue to influence each other to this day.
American football   and Canadian football  are derived from early forms of rugby football. Australian rules football was influenced by rugby football and other games originating in English public schools.
James Naismith took aspects of many sports including rugby to invent basketball. Naismith played rugby at McGill University. Swedish football was a code whose rules were a mix of Association and Rugby football rules.
Rugby lends its name to wheelchair rugby , a full-contact sport which contains elements of rugby such as crossing a try line with the ball to score.
According to a report by the Centre for the International Business of Sport, over four and a half million people play rugby union or one of its variants organised by the IRB.
It recorded a total of 6. The most capped international player from the tier 1 nations is former New Zealand openside flanker and captain Richie McCaw who has played in internationals.
In , the All Blacks of New Zealand set the new record 18 consecutive test wins among tier 1 rugby nations, bettering their previous consecutive run of The record attendance for a rugby union game was set on 15 July in which New Zealand defeated Australia 39—35 in a Bledisloe Cup game at Stadium Australia in Sydney before , fans.
Thomas Hughes novel Tom Brown's Schooldays , set at Rugby School , includes a rugby football match, also portrayed in the s film of the same name.
Henri Rousseau 's work Joueurs de football shows two pairs of rugby players competing. Invictus , based on John Carlin 's book Playing the Enemy , explores the events of the Rugby World Cup and Nelson Mandela's attempt to use the sport to connect South Africa's people post- apartheid.
In public art and sculpture there are many works dedicated to the sport. There is a 27 feet 8. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Team sport, code of rugby football. For a more detailed explanation of how rugby union is played, see Rugby union gameplay. Not to be confused with Rugby league.
Main article: History of rugby union. Main article: Rugby union positions. Main articles: Rugby union laws and Rugby union gameplay.
Main article: Line-out rugby union. Main article: Scrum rugby union. Main articles: Rugby union match officials and Laws of rugby union. Main article: Rugby union equipment.
See also: World Rugby and Timeline of foundation of national rugby unions. Member Union. Associated Union. See also: List of rugby union playing countries.
See also: Rugby Americas North. Main article: Rugby union in Asia. Main article: Women's rugby union. Further information: List of rugby union competitions.
Main article: Women's international rugby union. It dropped to eight when one of Sydney's three original sides was removed after the season.
The league returned to nine teams with the arrival of the Fijian Drua in , but reverted to eight when a second Sydney side was removed after the season.
See also: History of American football , Comparison of American football and rugby union , Origins of Australian rules football , Comparison of rugby league and rugby union , History of rugby league , and Rugby football.
See also: List of top rugby union players by international caps and List of top scoring international rugby union players.
Sports portal. This document, titled ' countries Some unions only report their registered players, i. Other unions, such as England's Rugby Football Union , also report people taking part in outreach and educational programs, or unregistered players.
In the figures reported by the RFU they reported 1,, people playing rugby in England, including 1,, under 13s, , teens and , seniors. Some of those recorded would have experienced rugby via educational visits to schools, playing tag or touch rugby, rather than playing regularly for a club.
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Fans who were watching Rugby Union on tv in will surely remember the surprising emergence of Jonah Lomu. England's defense proved futile against the raw power of the 6ft 5in New Zealander.
Years, later, in , it looked like Lomu would similarly beat the French opposition, but, to everyone's surprise, New Zealand lost 31 to A truly astonishing moment happened during the World Cup.
Whilst South Africa went on to win the game, it lost an important title. With the possibility of watching live Rugby on tv free, the popularity of the sport around the world is guaranteed to continue increasing.
The sport offers an exhilarating and truly memorable experience to fans, possible due to the raw, and sometimes animal-like full contact competition.
It's a game that offers seconds of thrill throughout 80 minutes of pure entertainment. Western Province v Pumas Currie Cup. Cheetahs v Golden Lions Currie Cup.
Sharks v Bulls Currie Cup. Pumas v Cheetahs Currie Cup. Zebre v Benetton Treviso Guinness Pro Harlequins v Bristol Bears Gallagher Premiership.
The Wallabies have wowed Australian sport with a moment of absolute class in their historic first performance of an Indigenous national anthem.
Wallabies star Reece Hodge was left inconsolable after his nightmare played out all over again in Australia's dramatic draw with Argentina.
A Wallabies team still trying to figure out how to score tries against one of the best defensively teams in the world.
He might be coaching royalty in New Zealand but new Bulldogs staff member Steve Hansen has been issued a blunt warning from the man who replaced him.