Rugby Football’s Beginnings

Rugby Football’s Beginnings

Rugby was invented in 1820, and it was similar to football in that players had to catch and kick the ball out of their hands. The number of participants on each side in School House vs. Rest of the School, for example, was unlimited. The School House (75) supplied the’rest’ when Queen Adelaide visited the school in 1839. (225). Although an attempt does not result in points, it does allow a team to “try” to score by taking a “drop in goal.” It was tough to achieve with so many people on each side, and games can last up to five days. The landscape was not planned until the end of the 1850s, and the Close was originally three rough fields. Until the turn of the century, sheep grazed on this territory. There are no written rules in place right now!
In 1823, a local youngster from Town House, William Webb Ellis, was the first to run with the ball, albeit the rule was not immediately established. Running with the ball was a popular activity in 1830, but it wasn’t until 1845 that the first formalised rules were published. These regulations were devised by the lads. Ellis grew up in Rugby after being born near Manchester. He then went on to Brasenose College in Oxford, where he acquired Holy Orders. He died in France in 1872, and his grave was cared for by the French RFU.


The original Rugby ball was round, but it changed into the oval shape it is today through time. They came in various sizes, depending on the size of the pig’s bladder from which they were made. To help finance the school, Gilberts, a local bootmaker, began producing balls. Others, particularly in London, supplied the lads, and it was this company who invented the inflated inner section and the pump.

Many of the terms used in today’s games originated here. The term “attempt” stems from the days when a touch-down did not result in points but did allow for a goal kick. The words “offside,” “knock on,” “touch,” and “goal line” are all derived from the original school football rules.

A rugby ball is a rugby ball that is used in the sport of rugby.

Rugby School was the only side that wore white in 1871 since the RFU’s committee was mostly made up of OR. England donned white as well. The School House was the first team to wear a uniform suit because it was the only house that played as a single unit until 1850. (long flanges, shirts and hats). Previously, the boys dressed in their school uniforms competed in teams made up of members from other houses. ORs and the city played their first “foreign” match in 1867. The team had fallen to 20 players by 1876, and then to 15 by 1877. Internal teams stayed at 20 until 1888. The ORs played Cheltenham in the first school game in 1896, and they made up half of England’s first international team. The RFU (mostly made up of OR) was organised in 1871, and the first national code was established. The Rugby boys retained and even revised their own rules until the end of the 1880s. When there were no judges, boys would wear shiny boots with nails in them for added hacking. Boys who were good enough to play for the big teams acquired “follow-up” hats, which evolved into the international cap that attracted the country’s greatest players.

The toolbox

Calcutta (Rugby) Football Club was created in January 1873 by former Rugby School students. The departure of a neighbouring British Army regiment (and, perhaps more importantly, the removal of free booze at the club!) reduced interest in rugby and other sports like tennis and polo. They thrived because they blended in better with the Indian culture.

When the Calcutta (Rugby) Football Club was abolished in 1878, members elected to preserve the club’s memory alive by melting down the last 270 silver rupees in their bank account and making them into a trophy. The trophy was then presented to the Rugby Football Union (RFU) as “the finest option” for obtaining a permanent portfolio for rugby.

The Calcutta Cup is still used to determine the victor of the annual Six Nations Championship rugby union match between England and Scotland.

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