Talk:Rugby union

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Good article Rugby union has been listed as one of the Sports and recreation good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
March 10, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted
October 7, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Rugby union:

Suggestions and tasks for the page to assist for the duration its COTF.

Please add to and edit this list, strike out completed tasks

Info to add/expand:

  • Field size/markings/grass type/stadiums?
  • Section on popularity?
  • Longer intro
  • Section on attire:jersey(see also: Rugby shirt)/equip(boots, use of gloves, kicking tees)
  • IRB's proposed law changes taking place in South Africa
  • Reduce size of overview.
  • Add a section on the Laws of the Game that summarises Playing rugby union, to briefly include info on:
  • Playing field
  • Players and officials
  • Equipment
  • Scoring
  • Running and kicking game
  • Set pieces
  • Add section on governing bodies
  • Add section on variations, especially rugby sevens


  • Create image of field w/ markings etc
  • Some more images of games?
  • The playing field.

References and verifiability:

  • References and footnotes where appropriate
  • Inline citations where needed


Definition of a maul.[edit]

The definition of a maul is wrong. The error comes from the reference source (ESPN's rugby glossary) rather than from whoever edited the Wikipedia page. According to ESPN, a maul can be formed by any combination of three players. However, the actual laws of the game ( define it as being formed by: 1. the ball carrier 2. at least one other player from his own team 3. at least one player from the opposition.

According to ESPN's definition, a full back and his two wingers could be hugging each other 100m away from the ball, and this would be a maul. This is plainly incorrect! (talk) 17:52, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Removal of referenced content[edit]

An anon User talk:2001:8003:4401:7F01:223:32FF:FE9E:4B9F insists on removing information on the influence of rugby union on Australian rules football from the article – despite the fact this material is well sourced. The section that keeps being removed is:

The primary influence on early Australian rules football was rugby football and other games originating in English public schools.[1][2] Tom Wills, who is recognised as one of the pioneers of Australian football, also attended Rugby School.[3]

Keep an eye on this. I'm not keen on engaging in an edit war, but if the anon continues to remove the information, they should be blocked, or the page semi-protected. – Shudde talk 10:02, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

I have delved into a lot of histories of Australian rules football through my research for the Tom Wills article, and I can say that it is beyond doubt among professional sports historians that rugby football was the main influence on Australian rules football. - HappyWaldo (talk) 10:22, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I know! It's not at all controversial to say that rugby was an influence on the sport. Another user reinserted the material, so if there are further reverts I suppose we go to the 3RR Noticeboard. Hopefully it stops though. – Shudde talk 10:27, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
The anon has just posted on my Talk—with no heading and unsigned—so I removed it. I had already posted 3RR warning on their Talk. Indications are that this is a newcomer.
This is the anon's post copy 'n' pasted:
"Hi there are no facts in writing that prove Australian rules football has influences from Rugby football or any other sports, any writings on the matter are written as theories. Please write back so we can reach a mutual ground instead of just re adding the content."
— | Gareth Griffith-Jones |The WelshBuzzard| — 10:32, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
The sources support maintaining the material. That Australian rules has been influenced by other codes is pretty much beyond debate, and that rugby was one of the more influential isn't controversial. That AFL was just invented out of the ether is a myth, but it still persists. – Shudde talk 10:44, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

All of the sources on the matter are written as theories not as fact, there is no proof that Australian rules football was influenced by Rugby union or any other sport. The content shouldn't be in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:8003:4401:7F01:223:32FF:FE9E:4B9F (talk) 00:45, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

"All my research points to Tom Wills having been almost solely influenced by his experience at Rugby School, with two other factors having an effect—the physical environment of Melbourne's parklands and the rules of other English Public School football games". That is Tom's biographer, Greg de Moore (First Wild Man of Australian Sport, p. 323). Sounds pretty definitive to me. - HappyWaldo (talk) 03:59, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

That book isn't written by Tom Wills, it is written by someone else, all his information are theories. There are theories that say the sport had influences from other sports but they are just that theories and are written as such. Until someone can provide a reference that proves it was influenced, not a opinion written as a theory it shouldn't be in the article. 2001:8003:4401:7F01:223:32FF:FE9E:4B9F (talk) 04:47, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Tom Wills and the other founders wrote quite a lot on what shaped their thinking, and the primary sources show that football at English public schools was their starting point. Two decades of thorough research by numerous academics lays this out. Sport is an evolutionary tree, and Australian rules football isn't a lone branch that grew out of thin air. - HappyWaldo (talk) 05:11, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Still you have no proof, there isn't any because it isn't true, but until someone provides a reference that proves that claim, not theories written as such like there is now it shouldn't be in the article.2001:8003:4401:7F01:223:32FF:FE9E:4B9F (talk) 06:55, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

We're after verifiability not truth. The material is well sourced. You've provided no evidence for your view and have demanded further evidence on top of that already provided (which is completely adequate) for the material you've unilaterally removed. A consensus has been reached and you've decided to edit war rather than accept it. Maybe you should instead try and discuss contentious edits before making them -- this is a collaborative project, it is not about winning. Sometimes you have to accept that most people disagree with you and move on to more productive things. -- Shudde talk 08:18, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

New IP, same problem (talk · contribs). Please keep an eye out. -- Shudde talk 08:20, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

And 2001:8003:440F:9B01:223:32FF:FE9E:4B9F (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is still at it. --David Biddulph (talk) 10:36, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
... and 2001:8003:441d:9701:223:32ff:fe9e:4b9f (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is the latest on the list. --David Biddulph (talk) 11:20, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Europe NPOV section[edit]

The section on Europe is extremely NPOV and pushes an agenda of Anglo-sphere V Europe that doesn't exist.

  • The spread of rugby union in Europe has been sporadic.
The spread seems to be quite even , with German union forming before the French and Italian for example . The growth in players, clubs and playing standard outside the big 6 has been sporadic
  • Historically, due to the lack of international games between the British and Irish home teams
Internationals don't grow the domestic game
  • who were more interested in facing the Southern Hemisphere giants of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa
could be written as more interested in facing the Southern Hemisphere to whom they are on a par with than hammering the Dutch off the field by a record 200 points
  • the rest of Europe were forced to create a 'second tier' of international rugby matches
Who forced them and how , held at gun point?
  • France became the only European team from the top tier to regularly play the other European countries
Because playing against yourself gets a bit boring Gnevin (talk) 13:48, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Slapping an NPOV tag and then walking away (which you initially did) is not how to deal with these concerns. I also fail to see how an NPOV tag is even relevant here? You're accusing editors of "pushing an agenda" (your words), which is a pretty bad faith thing to say. So maybe a more detailed discussion here is warranted before we start adding distracting (and possibly misleading) tags all over the place. Some of your concerns are just odd. I'd also love to see some sources on this, you've provided none. "France became the only European team from the top tier to regularly play the other European countries" -- this isn't controversial, France were excluded from the Five Nations so played more against non-Home Union sides. They also founded the FIRA as an alternative to the IRFB (which only consisted of the four Home Unions). There was definitely a British Empire bias in the running of the international game. When talking about expanding the IRFB, South Africa "... feared that the inclusion of France would lead eventually to the inclusion of other countries that would undermine the imperial fabric of the game." Another quote from the same article "South Africa also viewed the prospect of an expanded IRFB as ‘very dangerous’ if it also opened the way for ‘continental’ representation. For them, and notwithstanding the increasing Afrikaner dominance of the game, rugby was British and imperial and not even a shared wartime sacrifice could allow for the inclusion of France." [1] There was definitely a British bias in the administration of the game. Regardless, if you think this section should be rewritten maybe propose an alternative, with references. I'm sure it could be improved, and would love to see some detailed suggestions. -- Shudde talk 03:01, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Made a few changes, hope it clears this up Gnevin (talk) 10:38, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Influences on Australian rules football[edit]

It states in the article that Rugby union and other English public school games had influence on Australian rules football. There are theories that this might of occurred but it has never been proved. And all of the references for it don't state how it is proved. Therefore it should be stated as there are theories for this case, or it shouldn't be stated at all.2001:8003:441D:9701:223:32FF:FE9E:4B9F (talk) 02:05, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

You have been doing this for close to a year now without bringing forth any evidence to back up your view. How exactly do you think Australian rules football came into being? The evidence for rugby football's influence on the game is abundantly clear and the sources used are perfectly reliable. If you want direct quotes then here's one from T. S. Marshall, a pioneer who played in the first matches and was the inaugural president of the Victorian Football Association: "The present generation of footballers is doubtless unaware that we are entirely indebted to Rugby for the introduction of football to Victoria, and that although the two games are now widely divergent, it must be conceded that the matrix of the Victorian game was Rugby." ('Rise and Progress of the Australian Game', Sporting Globe, 21/8/1937) - HappyWaldo (talk) 07:41, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Where is the proof in that statement? That's just someone stating a opinion, no where in there does it state proof. And same goes for all the other references, no where does it state proof. You want proof? When Tom Willis the main inventor of Australian rules football and the other inventors were were writing the rules at one point nearly all of the other inventors decide that they should just play Rugby rules. Tom Wills then said and I quote No we shall have our own game, reference (100 years of Australian football Book) How did Australian rules football come into being? it was invented. Your opinion that Australian rules football was mainly influenced by Rugby, and the matrix of Australian rules football is Rugby is simply not true. There is not one aspect of Australian rules football that you could point to and say that came from Rugby, there completely different sports.2001:8003:441D:9701:223:32FF:FE9E:4B9F (talk) 06:29, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

It is clear that no amount of evidence will satisfy you, so I really don't see the point in continuing. And it's spelt "Wills". - HappyWaldo (talk) 08:45, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

It's clear that you couldn't answer my questions, and you know you are wrong.2001:8003:441D:9701:223:32FF:FE9E:4B9F (talk) 00:27, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Echoing Shudde's comment above from almost a year ago, this page should be semi-protected to prevent this guy from edit warring under his various IPs. - HappyWaldo (talk) 02:44, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree on semi protecting this however, after all this time I'm still shocked at any link between Aussie Rules and Rugby. If people are clearly disputing and link between the two there should be some consensus simply because the two relate.

External links modified[edit]

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Inconsistency in Replacement section?[edit]

In the section about Replacement and substitutions, it is said that "In international matches, up to eight replacements are allowed; in domestic or cross-border tournaments, at the discretion of the responsible national union(s), the number may be increased to eight" which seems weird. I don't know whether one or the other number needs to be changed or whether they are indeed equal, in which case the sentence should probably be rewritten? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:27, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. One end of the sentence was probably updated without the editor reading the front of it. I've corrected it. FruitMonkey (talk) 18:12, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
    • ^ Collins, Tony (2011). "Chapter 1: National Myths, Imperial Pasts and the Origins of Australian Rules Football". In Wagg, Stephen. Myths and Milestones in the History of Sport. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 8–31. ISBN 0-230-24125-5. 
    • ^ Blainey, Geoffrey (2010). A Game of Our Own: The Origins of Australian Football. Black Inc. pp. 244–278. ISBN 1-86395-347-7. 
    • ^ de Moore, Greg (2008). Tom Wills: His Spectacular Rise and Tragic Fall. Allen & Unwin. pp. 17–47. ISBN 978-1-74175-499-5.