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Introduction

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

Rugby union, widely known simply 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 at each end.

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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The Stormers team during a 2006 Super 14 match.
The Stormers, for sponsorship reasons referred to as Vodacom Stormers, are a South African rugby union team competing in the Super Rugby competition (formerly Super 12). They have never reached the final of the Super 12 competition, having been eliminated in the semi-finals in their best two years, 1999 and 2004.

They are based in Cape Town and centred around the Western Province union, but also draw players from the Boland Cavaliers (covering the Cape Winelands and West Coast districts, with home matches in Wellington). Prior to 1998, South Africa did not use a franchise system for the Super 12, instead sending the top four unions from its domestic competition, the Currie Cup, into the Super 12. In 1996, the Stormers qualified and competed in the Super 12 as Western Province. In 1997, they did not qualify, the fourth South African team being the Orange Free State (now the Free State Cheetahs at Currie Cup level. (More...)

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1888-1889 Natives Tour.jpg

The 1888-1889 New Zealand Native football team before they played Queensland in July 1889. The team played 107 matches on a tour of Britain, Australia and New Zealand in 1888 and 1889.

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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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Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll (born 1979) is an Irish professional rugby union player. He captained Ireland from 2003 to 2012, and was captain of the British and Irish Lions for their 2005 tour of New Zealand. After leading Ireland to a Triple Crown in the 2006 Six Nations, he was voted player of the tournament. Registered at Blackrock College RFC, he plays at outside centre for the Irish provincial team Leinster. He is also known as BOD God or Drico.

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