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What is rugby?

Rugby union, or simply 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.

Teams and positions

Each team starts the match with 15 players on the field and seven or eight substitutes. Players in a team are divided into eight forwards (two more than in rugby league) and seven backs.


The main responsibilities of the forward players are to gain and retain possession of the ball. Players in these positions are generally bigger and stronger and take part in the scrum and line-out. The forwards are often collectively referred to as the 'pack', especially when in the scrum formation.


The backs' role is to create and convert point-scoring opportunities. They are generally smaller, faster and more agile than the forwards. Another distinction between the backs and the forwards is that the backs are expected to have superior kicking skills, especially the fly-half and full-back.
Stunning Runs and Line Breaks - Rugby World Cup

The Six Nations - Ireland V Wales

Sunday, Feb. 7th, 3pm

Lansdowne Road


The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. It is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The current champions are Ireland, having won the 2015 Tournament.
Kick it to join!

To learn more about Welsh rugby.