Rugby has come a long way from the time it was being played by towns on opposite ends. It started out without any formal rules and just one objective – get the ball to designated markers at the opposite end. This lawlessness resulted in a rough game that forced authorities to ban that sport.
Rugby culture in England
Fast forward to the present and rugby has transformed into a huge and organized sport with England at the helm. At present, it is 2 million player strong with millions more of fans and supporters around the sport. The sport of rugby is played well throughout England and even in grammar schools as well as private schools. You will find the sport in Wasps, Worcester, Leicester and in Northampton in Midlands as well as Harlequins, Saracens and other parts in London. The sport is quite popular as well in South-West in Gloucester, Bristol, and even in Exeter. England is also considered one of the best teams in the world winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
England also plays in major tournaments around the world. This includes Six Nations, European Rugby Cup, IRB Under 21 and 19 World Championships, Sevens, and even the World Sevens. England competes separately from the UK. One of its top leagues is the Super League where 11 out of the 14 teams are situated in the heartland.
Rugby in France
France also has a created a huge following for rugby with well over 400,000 players at the heart of the sport. The game was introduced by British immigrants in the country and now enjoys massive popularity all over France. The Fédération Française de Rugby or FFR sits at the helm overlooking and promoting the sport in the country.
Rugby is a well-known sport in several parts of France but none can compare to its popularity in the southwest part of the country. There, every single village has a rugby team that they support and root for. People often look forward to Sundays as their favorite teams play the sport.
Rugby in South Africa
British colonists were responsible for bringing the exciting game of rugby to South Africa in the earlier days. At present, the country has shown great advancements in the sport as they took the top prize and became world champions in the 2007 World Cup. Within the country, there are several rugby competitions that start from regional all the way to national levels.
The sport has gained popularity in the country with the competitions they have set up to showcase existing talents and develop those with potential. Apart from the players, the supporters of the rugby in South Africa gives the sport its own identity.