Rugby Union


Rugby Union


The rugby union is one of the two codes of rugby both of which are quite popular throughout the world. It is simply referred to as rugby and one of the most exciting contact sports ever to come out of England around the 19th century. With a spherical ball and an H-shaped goal posts, players try to score as many points as possible by running with the ball in hand getting it across the post and on the ground every time.

The split

After the first rules of the sport were written in 1845, there was a split between rugby league and rugby union in 1895. The two would go on their separate ways carving their own niche with improvements in the sport by way of rule changes and even difference in the scoring of points. However, 100 years later and the rugby union removed payment restriction on the players making in an openly professional sport.

Governing body

The rugby union is governed by the World Rugby based out in Dublin, Ireland. It oversees the games played out in home nations of Ireland as well as Great Britain. Originally named International Rugby Football Board or the IRFB between 1998 to 2014, World Rugby has gone a long way from the first Rugby World Cup in 1987. It now has the Six Nations Championship played in Europe as well as the Rugby Championships in the south.

Union versus league

It would be quite confusing for some people who want to understand the game when they try to differentiate the union from the league. The split came about from a disagreement over player payments in 1895. As they went their separate ways, they both evolved to acquire subtle differences all the while making their respective games more entertaining for the fans.

When it comes to the number of players on the field, rugby union as two more than the 13 players used by the league. However, only 7 substitutions are allowed in a rugby union game compared to 10 in a league. The league also has a limited number of tackles until such time that possession is awarded to the opposing team. Rugby union does not have the same approach.Much like each other, infringements usually lead to scrums but they have different numbers of players involved. Rugby union allows 8 players while the league only has 6. Rugby union tends to have a higher scoring output as tries rewards 5 points, drop goal 3 and a conversion kick has 2. The league only gives 4 points for a try, 2 for a drop goal and only 1 point for a conversion kick.

The class divide

Before taking out the player payment restrictions, the rugby league saw more of the working-class as they were paid more handsomely in the sport. The same players found it hard to participate in rugby union during the work week. The union, on the other hand, were more popular with grammar schools and universities. This is one of the biggest difference between the two codes.