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Portal:Rugby union

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The Rugby Union Portal

Introduction

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

Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world 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 on each try line.

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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The All Blacks performing the haka Ka Mate before a match against France at Stade de France. Photo credit: Sonya & Jason Hills

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The whole point of rugby is that it is, first and foremost, a state of mind, a spirit.

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David Bedell-Sivright
David "Darkie" Bedell-Sivright (1880 – 1915) was a rugby union forward who captained both Scotland and the British Isles. Educated at Fettes College, Bedell-Sivright studied at Cambridge University and played for them in four Varsity Matches. He was selected for Scotland in 1900, and after playing in all of Scotland's Home Nations Championship matches between 1901 and 1903, he toured South Africa with the British Isles side in 1903. He played 12 matches, but did not play any test matches due to injury. The next year Bedell-Sivright was appointed captain for the British Isles team that toured Australia and New Zealand. Due to a broken leg he played only one test on tour. During the tour Bedell-Sivright pulled the British team from the field for after disputing the referee's decision to send-off teammate Denys Dobson. Eventually Bedell-Sivright allowed his side to resume play, but without Dobson. Bedell-Sivright briefly settled in Australia, before returning to Scotland to study medicine. He captained his country against the touring New Zealanders in 1905, and in 1906 helped Scotland defeat South Africa. A surgeon by profession, he joined the Royal Navy during the First World War, and died on active service during the Gallipoli Campaign. Bedell-Sivright was an aggressive and hard player, as well as a ferocious competitor. He has been inducted into the Scottish Rugby and IRB Halls of Fame.

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