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Portal:Rugby union

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Scrum rugby.jpg
Rugby union – commonly referred to as just rugby, or union, and in New Zealand occasionally as football or footy – is a code of football. Rugby union is a contact sport played by teams with fifteen players. The name is derived from the name of the game's original governing body, the Rugby Football Union, with the suffix union used to differentiate it from other codes of rugby football. The game developed from the variant of football at played Rugby school in England. The crucial differences from association football are that in rugby the ball is a prolate spheroid instead of a sphere, and that the players are allowed to pick the ball up and run with it. The players are also allowed to throw the ball from player to player, but are not allowed to throw it forward – the ball must only be passed sideways or backward.

The game has established itself as a major global sport, and is especially popular in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Wales, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Australia, Argentina and South Africa. Rugby is also gaining popularity in Italy, which was accepted into the Six Nations Championship in 2000, and Japan. Rugby is the most popular team sport in Georgia and is popular in Romania, Namibia, the United States of America and Canada.

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A scrum in an England versus Scotland international.

A scrum in rugby union is a means of restarting play after a minor infringement. It involves eight players from each team, known as the pack or forward pack, binding together in three rows and interlocking with the opposing teams forwards. At this point the ball is fed into the gap between the two forward packs and they both compete for the ball to win possession. Teams can be penalised for intentionally causing the scrum to collapse, and for not putting the ball into the scrum correctly. A scrum is most commonly awarded when the ball is knocked forward, or passed forward, or when a ball becomes trapped in a ruck or maul. Due to the physical nature of scrums, injuries can occur, especially in the front row. (More...)

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USA 1924 rugby team.jpg

The United States team that defeated France to win the gold medal in rugby union at the 1924 Summer Olympics.

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Playing rugby at school I once fell on a loose ball and, through ignorance and fear, held on despite a fierce pummelling. After that it took me months to convince my team-mates I was a coward.

—Peter Cook

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Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll (born 1979) is an Irish professional rugby union player. He captained Ireland from 2003 to 2012, and was captain of the British and Irish Lions for their 2005 tour of New Zealand. After leading Ireland to a Triple Crown in the 2006 Six Nations, he was voted player of the tournament. Registered at Blackrock College RFC, he plays at outside centre for the Irish provincial team Leinster. He is also known as BOD God or Drico.

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