Rugby union

Rugby union is a competitive outdoor contact sport, played with a prolate spheroid ball, by two teams of 15 players. It is one of the two codes of rugby football, the other being rugby league. There is also a seven-a-side variant named rugby sevens which is played under modified laws. Rugby union is often referred to as simply rugby in areas where it is popular. The current number 1 ranked team in the world is New Zealand, and the current world champion is South Africa. The origin of rugby is reputed to be an incident during a game of football at Rugby School, Rugby, England, in 1823 when William Webb-Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it. Although this tale is likely to be apocryphal, the trophy played for every four years at the Rugby World Cup is named after him. Significant events in the early development of rugby were the production of the first set of written laws in 1845, the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the The Football Association in 1863 and the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871. The code was originally known simply as "rugby football"; it was not until after a schism in 1895, which resulted in the separate code of rugby league, that the name "rugby...


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