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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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Stade Français vs Stade toulousain which took place in Stade de France, Paris.

Stade Français CASG Paris is a French rugby union club that plays in the 16th arrondissement of Paris at Stade Jean-Bouin, across the road from Parc des Princes. It currently competes in the top level of the Ligue Nationale de Rugby ( LNR Rugby TOP 14). The club was founded in its current form in 1995 with the merger of the rugby sections of the Stade français and CASG sports clubs. They normally play at Stade Jean-Bouin (capacity 12,000), although they drew nearly 80,000 at Stade de France for two separate 2005-06 home matches, first against Toulouse and then Biarritz. Both Stade de France fixtures broke the all-time attendance record for a regular-season French league match in any sport. (More...)

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Coupe du monde rugby - tour Eiffel.JPG

The Eiffel Tower, Paris, with a giant inflatable rugby ball suspended from it as a promotion for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Photo credit: PRA

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Playing rugby at school I once fell on a loose ball and, through ignorance and fear, held on despite a fierce pummelling. After that it took me months to convince my team-mates I was a coward.

—Peter Cook

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Waisale Serevi

Waisale Serevi (born 1968) is a former Fijian rugby union footballer, and coach. Although he played fifteen-a-side rugby throughout his playing career, Serevi is most notable for his achievements in rugby sevens,and is widely considered one of its greatest players. In the 15-man game, he played for Fiji 39 times between 1989 and 2003, and scored 376 points. This included representing Fiji in the 1991, 1999, and 2003 Rugby World Cups. He has also played professionally for the Mitsubishi, Leicester, Stade Montois, Stade Bordelais and Staines rugby teams. His representative sevens career started in 1989 when was selected in the Fiji sevens side for the annual Hong Kong Sevens tournament. With the exception of 2001, 2003 and 2004 he has played at Hong Kong every year until 2007. Serevi has also played in the 1993, 1997, 2001, and 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens, and won the title with Fiji in 1997 and 2005. He won silver at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and 2002, and captured bronze in 2006. Serevi played in the [[IRB Sevens World Series from its creation in 1999 until 2007. In 2005 Serevi was appointed the Fiji Sevens teams coach, and coached them to victory in the 2005-06 World Sevens Series – the first time the series was not won by New Zealand. In 2013 he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.

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