Rugby is a full-contact sport that originated in England around 1823, and the rest is history.
For those who have a keen interest in rugby, here are some fun facts!
Rugby Was Invented by Chance
Children are always making up new fun games to occupy time, bond with friends, and they enjoy bending the rules! But imagine William Webb Ellis’s surprise when he ran off with the ball during a game of football, and it ended up changing the world of sport.
While there is no evidence to support this story, it has one that has been adopted throughout the evolvement of rugby, including a rugby World Cup Trophy being named after him!
The first official rugby game was then played in 1871, the same year that the Rugby Football Union was officially created.
Rugby Balls Were Made Out of Pigs Bladders
A somewhat shocking fact when it comes to rugby is that the balls were made out of pig’s bladders! Yes, that’s right. The balls that were known as footballs at the time were made of inflated pig’s bladders and then wrapped in leather. They were also a much rounder, spherical shape, and at the time, there was no specific shape that the ball needed to be.
However, rugby balls as they are known now are free from animal insides and have adopted a longer, egg kind of shape, a switch that was made back in 1870, officially.
Rebecca Lindon’s Death Suspected from Making Rugby Balls
Richard Lindon set up a leather shop, which fast became a base home for the rugby ball production, though originally it was the home of making shoes. When Richard started producing rugby balls, he enlisted the help of his wife, Rebecca, who blew up the rugby balls by mouth every day. It is suspected that blowing up pigs’ bladders (and not knowing how many were carrying germs) and inhaling animal disease into her lungs ended up causing her untimely death.
Rugby Tournaments are Held Every Four Years
Expect to only see Rugby World Cup Tournaments every four years, which now equates to a grand total of 9 World Cup Tournaments since the first-ever one which debuted in 1987 in New Zealand, where both Australia and New Zealand had their first game, with New Zealand taking the win!
The most recent Rugby Union World Cup was held in Japan in 2019, with Japan taking the win.
Rugby Players Can Earn Significant Amounts of Money Despite the infrequency of tournaments, rugby players can earn a decent amount of money, averaging from £40,000 to £70,000, with the top players earning as much as £700,000!
The Same Whistle is Used for Every Game
It is true that the same whistle is blown for the beginning of every game of the Rugby World Cup Tournaments. This would sound more impressive had there been more than 9 so far; however, everyone can agree that nobody ever found pens that were put down only for a second, so to hold on to a whistle and have it exchanged over countries without being lost is pretty remarkable.