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  1. Quick – Find Rugby On The Map!

Rugby football, sometimes just called football got its name after Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, England.  It was just one of many versions of football which was played during the 19th century at English public schools.

  1. The Ancient Ball Games

Even the ancient Greeks and Romans played ball games. Many of these games included the use of the players’ feet.  And game which appears to have resembled modern-day rugby in ancient times is the Ancient Greek game called phaininda.

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  1. Air-Filled Balls

Perhaps you didn’t know, but air-filled balls have been around for a while! Even Romans had air-filled balls, and they called them follis. Cicero, the Roman politician who lived c.130BC, even describes a case when a man died at a barber’s shop while having a shave, when a ball was kicked into the barber’s shop.

  1. 1871 – The Year of the Rugby

Rugby Football Union or RFU was formed in 1871. The first recognized international rugby match was also played in 1871, between England and Scotland.

  1. Rugby and Racism

1396006142073James Peters, also known as “Darkie Peters”, was withdrawn from the game in 1906 in the game England played against South Africa in rugby union for the first time. Peters was withdrawn because the South African team refused to play against a black player. Peters also went down in rugby history as the first black person to play rugby for England, against Scotland.

  1. Rugby and Class

In England, rugby is considered to be an “establishment” sport and as such its players are mostly upper class members or middle class members. However, this is just a stereotype. In the West Country rugby is popular amongst all classes.

  1. Rugby Ball

GilbertBarbarian1The size and the shape of the ball are regulated by the International Rugby Board and the regulations require the ball to be made of four panels, with 280-300 millimeters in length and 740-770 millimeters in circumference from end to end, and a circumference of 580-620 millimeters in width. Also, the ball should be made of leather, or other sustainable synthetic material which is water resistant and can be gripped firmly. As for its weight, the ball must not be heavier than 460 grams or lighter than 410 grams. Furthermore, the specifications concerning air pressure are also very specific: the air pressure of the ball must be from 65.71–68.75 kilopascals, or 0.67–0.70 kilograms per square centimetre, or 9.5–10.0 lbs per square inch.

  1. World Cups

The Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand in 1987, and it occurs every four years. The Rugby League World Cup was first held in France in 1954, but as of 2013 it also occurs every four years.

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