A commemorative stone at Rugby school claims that 16-year-old student William Webb Ellis, “with a fine disregard for the rules of football…first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game.” Lucky he didn’t go to a Comprehensive – he’d have got the showing of his life.Legend has it that the game originated at Rugby school (hence the name) in England, when one of the pupils, William Webb Ellis, picked up the ball during a game of soccer in 1823 and ran with it. Of course, the story is most likely apocryphal since games involving running with a ball in hand had existed for centuries before that.
A rugby team would take anyone they could convince to play, but as time has gone by, the pace of the game has increased. And thus, one must be in near-peak physical condition to play. But enough of that. For those of us who want to simply watch the game and be able to understand what’s going on, please bear with me. We’ll have to go over some terms before we can talk about what’s going on. Otherwise, it would be like trying to explain the colors to a blind person. No offense meant to the blind community.
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