Portal:Rugby union

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The Rugby Union Portal

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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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Cardiff Arms Park and Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales.

Cardiff Arms Park (Welsh: Parc yr Arfau Caerdydd), also known as The Arms Park, is a rugby union stadium situated in the centre of Cardiff, Wales. The history of the rugby ground starts with the first stands appearing for spectators in the ground in 1881–1882, although the Arms Park had cricket played on the site since 1848. It is today the home to two rugby union teams, the Cardiff Blues and Cardiff Rugby Football Club. The rugby ground was host to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1958 and home to Cardiff RFC and the Wales national rugby union team. From 1970, the site had two rugby union stadiums: the Cardiff Rugby Ground, which had replaced the cricket ground, and the National Stadium. The National Stadium was home to the Wales national rugby union team and it was officially opened on 7 April 1984, however by 1999 the Millennium Stadium had replaced it as the national stadium of Wales. The Cardiff Rugby Ground has remained the home of Cardiff RFC, yet the future of the rugby stadium is in doubt, with the announcement in 2007 that the Cardiff Blues will be moving to the new Cardiff City stadium in August 2009.

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Georgian players celebrate defeating Russia in 2007. Photo credit: Paata

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I wanted a play that would paint the full face of sensuality, rebellion and revivalism. In South Wales these three phenomena have played second fiddle only to the Rugby Union which is a distillation of all three.

—Gwyn Thomas

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Mark Hammett (born 1972) is a rugby union coach and former New Zealand player. Hammett played provincial rugby for Canterbury, as a hooker, between 1992 and 2002. When the Crusaders franchise was formed for the Super 12 in 1996, he was contracted, and became a founding player. He continued to play for the Crusaders until 2003; winning four titles in the process. He was first selected for New Zealand – the All Blacks – in 1999, and frequently played for them until his retirement following the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Hammett represented Canterbury 76 times, the Crusaders 81 times, and the All Blacks 30 times – including 29 Test matches. After retiring as a player, he began coaching, and worked as forwards advisor for both the Crusaders and Canterbury in 2006. He succeeded Vern Cotter as assistant coach at the Crusaders for the 2007 season, and was appointed head coach of the Wellington-based Hurricanes in 2011.

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