Rugby is a great game that has been played through the ages across the world. It’s a sport that is widely recognised and respected. So, we thought it was about time we had an article about the game.
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It’s widely believed that the town of Rugby in Warwickshire is where the game was forged by William Webb Ellis in 1823, as he carried the ball and ran towards the opposition’s goal line. Two centuries later, rugby is still being played and more popular than ever.
Rugby is divided into Rugby Union and Rugby League (We’ll go into detail about the difference later). This all started in the 1890s when players in Yorkshire were being paid to play matches as compensation for missing a day’s wage. The Rugby Football Union rules, written in 1871, had banned rugby from becoming a professional game. Subsequently, this resulted in Yorkshire and Lancashire clubs forming the Northern Rugby Football Union. This then integrated breakaway clubs that developed their own way of playing the game, known as rugby league.
League and Union; what’s the difference?
There are a number of differences between the two, starting with the number of players. In rugby league, there are 13 players in a team, compared to union teams, which are made up of 15 players. Not only this, in league, each team is allowed 10 subs per game, but in union games, you’re only allowed 8.
Scoring also differs between the two games. A try in union team matches is five points, and in league, it’s four. Conversions are worth the same, earning two extra points in either type of play. The other difference is, in league, a drop goal is worth one point, and a penalty is worth two. Whereas in union, both are worth three points.
Benefits of Playing Rugby
Like football, Rugby can be played by anyone at any age. For young children (of primary school age), rugby often starts out as tag rugby, the non-contact sport where children wear tags around their waist. If a tag is taken from a player who is in possession of the ball, the opposing team wins control of the ball. This then develops into the full game of rugby at secondary school age. Children start to gain interest in the sport around now, and then they can join local rugby teams and work their way up.
Rugby is a great form of cardio exercise as players run around the pitch. The game also builds strength and flexibility, as the upper body is used in scrums, tackling and throwing the ball, whilst agility is vital to a rugby player, with the quick pace of the game and sudden change of direction often keeping them on their toes.
Not only does rugby have great physical benefits, but it is also great for your mental well-being. Being a part of a team comes with the social benefits of meeting new people and making friends. Key mental skills such as self-control, concentration, discipline, decision-making, and leadership skills are also developed, making rugby a great way for children to learn. These skills can then transcend into daily life and become transferrable skills for the future.
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