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Rugby football refers to the team sports rugby league and rugby union. Rugby football originated at Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. In 1895, in Huddersfield, Northern England, twenty-one clubs split off to form the Northern Rugby Football Union, today called the Rugby Football League. The Rugby Football Union governs English Rugby Union. Rugby football was one of many versions of football played at English public schools in the 19th century. Although rugby league initially used rugby union rules, they are now wholly separate sports. In addition to these two codes, both American and Canadian football evolved from rugby football.

Selected article

Rugby Football History

Rugby School

The legendary story/myth about the origin of Rugby football — whereby a young man named William Webb Ellis "took the ball in his arms [i.e. caught it] and ran" while playing Rugby School's already distinctive version of football (not to be confused with association football, which was codified much later) in 1823 — has little evidence to support it. Pundits have dismissed the story as unlikely since it was first given the School's seal of approval following an official investigation by the Old Rugbeian Society in 1895. However, the story has entered into legend, and the trophy for the Rugby Union World Cup bears the name of "Webb Ellis" in his honour and a plaque at the School commemorates the "achievement".

Various kinds of football have a long tradition in England and football games had probably taken place at Rugby School for 200 years before three boys published the first set of written rules (in 1845). At the time, a set of rules would be agreed between two teams before a match. Teams which competed against each other regularly would tend to agree to play similar rules.

Did you know...

Heather Moyse

  • ... that Ireland's Thomas Gisborne Gordon is the only one-handed person to play international rugby of either code?
  • ...that Mini rugby is a popular way of teaching children the game?
  • ...that the biggest scrum in the world was made on 14 October 2007 in Croatia, with over 200 players of all categories from Croatian rugby club Nada?

Rugby topics


Peter Fizsimmons

Things you can do

Here are some Rugby Portal things you (yes you) can do!

  1. Help add content to the Rugby Portal
  2. Create and Edit NEW Rugby related articles
  3. Develop the Rugby union & Rugby League Portals
  4. Expand club profiles by using and creating templates (a good example is the Rugby Union National Team Template)


Web resources

  • Nobok Sports Rugby
  • Planet Rugby
  • Scrum.com Website
  • USARugbyNet.com: The online rugby community
  • The Schools' Rugby Website
  • World of Rugby League
  • League Unlimited - Rugby League
  • BBC's Rugby Union Page
  • BBC's Rugby League Page
  • Sky Sports Rugby Union Page
  • Sky Sports Rugby League Page
  • Sportal.com.au Rugby Union Page
  • Sportal.com.au Rugby League Page
  • [1] An informal guide to rugby
  • Hartford Wanderers RFC Hartford, CT

Rugby lists




Things that must be edited or created


  1. {{Rugby06}}
  2. Comparison_of_rugby_league_and_rugby_union
  3. Merge Up and under and Bomb kick
  4. Austin Rugby Club

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides




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