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The Rugby Union Portal


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

Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world 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 Top 14 is a professional rugby union club competition played throughout France. The Top 14 is the top competition of the national league system of Ligue Nationale de Rugby. There is promotion and relegation between the Top 14 and the next competition down, the Rugby Pro D2. Currently there are 14 teams in the competition, though the competition was previously known as the Top 16, with 16 clubs. The first ever final took place in 1892, between two Paris-based sides, Stade Français and Racing Club, with the latter becoming the inaugural champions. The competition has been held on an annual basis since, with the exception being between 1915 and 1919 due to World War I. The current champions are Biarritz Olympique. (More...)

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Georgian players celebrate defeating Russia in 2007. Photo credit: Paata

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When I see Gareth Edwards, I can still see the try he got against Scotland in the mud and rain. I look at Colin Meads and see a great big sheep farmer who carried the ball in his hands as though it was an orange pip.

—Bill McLaren

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Colin Windon (1921 – 2003) was a rugby union player who captained Australia – the Wallabies – in two Test matches in 1951. He was first selected for Australia for their tour of New Zealand that year. Despite the Wallabies losing both their Tests on tour, Windon impressed with his play. In 1947 Windon was selected for Australia's tour of Europe and North America where he played 27 of his side's 36 matches. He played all five Tests on tour, against Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and France. In the match against England, which Australia won 11–0 after a dominant display from Windon that included two tries. He was appointed vice-captain for the Wallabies 1949 tour of New Zealand, where Australia won both Test matches to win the Bledisloe Cup in New Zealand for the first time. He captained his country in two matches against the touring New Zealanders in 1951. Windon's career ended after an injury interrupted tour to South Africa in 1953. His eleven Test tries was the most by an Australian until the 1980s, and he was named in Australian rugby's team of the century in 1999. In 2005 he was honoured as one of the inaugural five inductees into the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame.

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