How did rugby begin?
Many believe that rugby was born in 1823 when William Webb Ellis "with fine disregard for the rules of football (note that football was yet to split into the various codes) as played in his time at Rugby school, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game"
First recognised international rugby match, played between England and Scotland. Matthew Bloxam's letter is published in The Meteor. It claims William Webb Ellis, a pupil at Rugby School, picked up the ball and invented rugby.
- The sport of American football itself was relatively new in 1892. Its roots stemmed from two sports, soccer and rugby, which had enjoyed long-time popularity in many nations of the world. On November 6, 1869, Rutgers and Princeton played what was billed as the first college football game.
The legend goes something like this. A long time ago a bunch of boys were playing soccer at Rugby School in England. One of the boys, called William Webb Ellis, picked up the ball and ran with it over the goal line. Obviously others thought this a great idea and thus the game of Rugby was born.
- Having originated in south-east England, it became the country's national sport in the 18th century and has developed globally in the 19th and 20th centuries. International matches have been played since 1844 and Test cricket began, retrospectively recognised, in 1877.
- History of Rugby League. Rugby league began in 1895, as the 'Northern Union', when clubs in the North of England broke away from the RFU. The clubs wanted to compensate their working-class players for time away from work for rugby tours and injuries.
Updated: 26th October 2019