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Portal:Rugby union

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South African Victor Matfield takes a line-out against New Zealand in 2006.

Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.

Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014, there were more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million were registered players. World Rugby, previously called the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB) and the International Rugby Board (IRB), has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, and currently has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members.

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France (in blue) playing Wales in the 2007 Six Nations Championship.
The France national rugby union team is a national sporting side that represents France in rugby union. They compete annually against England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright on fourteen occasions, shared in another eight titles and completing eight grand slams.

Rugby was introduced to France in 1872 by the British, and on New Year's Day, 1906 the national side played its first Test match—against New Zealand in Paris. France played sporadically against the British Home Nations until they joined them to form a Five Nations tournament (today, the Six Nations Championship) in 1910. France came of age during the 1950s and 1960s, winning their first of many Five Nations titles. They won their first Grand Slam in 1968, and won numerous titles in the following years. Since the inaugural World Cup in 1987, France have qualified for the knock-out stage of every tournament and reached the final twice. They were runners-up to the All Blacks in 1987 and to Australia in 1999. France are the host nation for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. (More...)

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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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Colin Windon (1921 – 2003) was a rugby union player who captained Australia – the Wallabies – in two Test matches in 1951. He was first selected for Australia for their tour of New Zealand that year. Despite the Wallabies losing both their Tests on tour, Windon impressed with his play. In 1947 Windon was selected for Australia's tour of Europe and North America where he played 27 of his side's 36 matches. He played all five Tests on tour, against Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and France. In the match against England, which Australia won 11–0 after a dominant display from Windon that included two tries. He was appointed vice-captain for the Wallabies 1949 tour of New Zealand, where Australia won both Test matches to win the Bledisloe Cup in New Zealand for the first time. He captained his country in two matches against the touring New Zealanders in 1951. Windon's career ended after an injury interrupted tour to South Africa in 1953. His eleven Test tries was the most by an Australian until the 1980s, and he was named in Australian rugby's team of the century in 1999. In 2005 he was honoured as one of the inaugural five inductees into the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame.

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