How does it work?
There are two main types of rugby – rugby union and rugby league. Previously united under the title ‘rugby football’, the two sports split at the end of the 19th century. Whilst they are similar in many ways, there are nonetheless key differences between the two. Rugby union teams consist of 15 players, whereas there are only 13 players on a rugby league team. Other differences between the two forms of rugby lie in the shape of the ball and the scoring system.
The aim of rugby is to gain points either by scoring a try (by grounding the ball in the goal area) or by kicking the ball over the cross bar of the H-shaped goal post. Unlike in football, there is no goalkeeper in rugby. Matches are split into two halves and usually last for 80 minutes, although there is often extra time allotted to make up for time lost due to injuries.
Rugby is a form of aerobic exercise that provides a workout for the whole body – keeping you nice and fit whilst helping to shed weight and build muscle. Sounds good to us!
Is it for me?
Rugby can help you get fit, tone up, lose weight and build stamina. As it’s a team sport, it’s also a great way to socialise – just make sure you’re not so busy chatting that you take your eye off the ball!
Although historically rugby was a men’s sport, these days it’s not just for boys – there are plenty of female clubs and teams out there for girls who fancy giving it a go.
As rugby is a contact sport, it is not suitable for pregnant women or those with injuries. You may find yourself with a few bumps and bruises after a game, so delicate types may be best off looking for a different hobby...
Good to know
Legend has it that rugby football was first invented at Rugby School in the mid-19th century when William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a conventional game of football and ran with it.