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History & Trivia of Betting on Rugby

Steven D. Thompson


As one of the top sports in the world today, rugby offers bettors an excellent opportunity to make profits. However, not everyone knows about the history of this sport or important rugby facts. There is a lot to learn regarding rugby history, and this guide by Betpack will provide the information you need.

Table of Contents

    The Start of Rugby - William Webb Ellis and the Rugby School

    William Webb Ellis is recognised as the creator of rugby, although many people will consider this an accident. As a traditional football player, William picked up a ball and began running around with it. Although this action will get you penalised in a modern football match, this is how rugby initially became a thing in 1823. 

    The Start of Rugby - William Webb Ellis and the Rugby School The Start of Rugby - William Webb Ellis and the Rugby School

    The Evolution of the Rugby Ball 

    As a unique and competitive sport, one of the indispensable things in rugby is the rugby ball. Richard Lindon and William Gilbert, shoemakers close to the Rugby School, stepped up by providing balls to the school. The original rugby balls were designed using pigs bladders and leather casings, but a replacement was quickly sourced due to health issues caused by inflating the pigs bladders. 

    India rubber was chosen as a replacement in 1862, but the material was harder to inflate. A large brass air pump was developed to inflate the balls to solve this problem. The oval shape and the dimensions of the rugby ball were written into the rules in 1892. 

    Over the years, leather balls have been phased out in favour of polyester as the backing material. This helps the ball maintain its oval shape, while other materials improve its water resistance and performance. 

    A statue of Webb Ellis stands outside the Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. The statue depicts him running with a ball, referencing the belief that he was the first to do so.

    The Rules and the Creation of the Rugby League

    The rugby rules are almost as old as the sport. The first set of rules was written by pupils of the Rugby School as far back as 1845. These rules were made into illustrations to give a clear picture of the game. 

    The early rules promoted certain actions, such as hacking, which were banned as the game developed further. Due to the split between the Rugby League and Rugby Union, the current rules vary depending on the governing body. 

    The original rugby governing body, the Rugby Football Union or RFU, was created far back in 1871. This was a decision by representatives of 21 local clubs. By creating this union and unions in other countries, international rugby matches became a reality. 

    Despite the success of the RFU in regulating rugby matches, its decision to operate an amateur sport didn't sit with many clubs and lovers of the sport. The majority of the clubs that expressed displeasure in this decision were Northern Clubs, making it easier for them to push for a split. They would later leave the Rugby Union in 1895 to form the Northern Rugby Union. 

    This body later adopted the Rugby League as its formal name in 1922. The inclusion of player payments in the rules of the Rugby League was one of its attractive features. This is a feature that the Rugby Union would later adopt almost 100 years after 1995 to become a professional rugby league.

    The Four Nations is one of the top sports events run by the Rugby League and features New Zealand, Australia, England, and a fourth participant chosen by qualification or invitation. 

    The Six Nations Rugby Tournament and the Commonwealth

    The Six Nations competition is a tournament that features England, Ireland, Wales, Italy, Scotland, and France. Wales has the most Six nations titles with a total of 39 titles consisting of 27 outright and 12 shared titles. England is close behind with 38 titles – 28 outright wins and ten shared titles. 

    As one of the top competitors in the tournament's history, England holds the title for the longest winning streak with 11 games, while Italy has the longest losing streak at 13 games. The most points in the tournament have been scored by Ronan O'Gara, an Irish player with 557 points. 

    The Commonwealth Games is another top international event that features rugby. The Rugby Sevens format of the sport has been played at the games since 1998 as a men's tournament and finally included the women's competition in 2018. The games feature competitors from commonwealth countries, and regular participants include England, Australia, Wales, New Zealand, and Canada.

    Rugby World Cup Facts Rugby World Cup Facts

    Rugby World Cup Facts

    The Rugby Union World Cup is the Webb Ellis Cup, whose trophy is designed from gilded silver with cast scroll handles as support. It features various teams from the international rugby union, with an opening ceremony, and is televised to billions. England remains the only country from the Northern hemisphere to have lifted the Webb Ellis trophy after winning the tournament. Other rugby facts about this cup are as follows: 

    • In 1995, Canada experienced a 20-0 defeat at the hands of South Africa, during which they received two red cards – the only team to do so in a match. 
    • Since its first use in 1905, the same whistle has been used in every Rugby World Cup opening game. 
    • At 19 years and 166 days, Wales player George North holds the record for the youngest try-scorer in a World Cup final. 
    • There is a Women's Rugby World Cup that holds every four years. 
    • The World Cup features 20 teams separated into four pools consisting of five countries. 
    • Teams that participate in the Rugby World Cup include South Africa, Italy, Canada, Japan, Scotland, England, USA, Russia, Fiji, New Zealand, Uruguay, Argentina, Georgia, Samoa, France, Ireland, Namibia, Wales, and Tonga. 
    • Australia holds the record for largest winning margin after defeating Namibia 142 – 0 in 2003. 
    • The New Zealand women's team holds the most title in the competition.

    Interesting Rugby Trivia Debunked

    Longest-Reigning Olympic Champion in the Game

    The USA has a record for maintaining its status as the reigning world rugby champion for more than 60 years. This record is attributed to rugby being removed from the Olympic Games lineup after the USA won the gold medal in 1924. The following international rugby after the 1924 Olympic Games was the 1987 Rugby World Cup. 

    Records and Hall of Fame

    • On October 3, 2015, England was knocked out of the Rugby World Cup group stage. It is the only country that failed to get out of its pool despite being the host nation of the Rugby World Cup.
    • In 2007, Danie Craven was inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame. He is the first South African to be inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame. 
    • Brian O'Driscoll holds the top try scorer in the Six Nations record with 26 tries.

    Other Facts

    • The Rugby League was formed in a British town called Huddersfield.
    • "Swing Low Swing Chariot" is the unofficial anthem of England, and it was first sung when Chris Oti scored a hat trick against Ireland in 1988. 
    • Many people attribute the popularity of the Welsh national anthem to the 1967 Welsh crowd singing the anthem in Unison.

    There are various rugby myths and misconceptions many individuals have about the game of rugby. In this section, we try to debunk four of the most famous myths about the game:

    Rugby is a dangerous sport

    Unlike American football or NFL, rugby is a much safer contact sport. The rules of the sport are there to protect rugby players, with one of such rules being that players can only tackle another player who has the ball. To avoid giving a penalty kick to the opposing team, a player should immediately release another player after a tackle. 

    Rugby and American football are replicas

    This isn't true. Both sports share an oval-shaped ball; however, rugby has a unique way of scoring. Also, rugby players don't wear helmets or pads. 

    Rugby promotes steroids

    This is a common misconception many individuals have about rugby due to the speed some players develop. Rugby regulatory bodies discourage and ban the use of steroids. However, it is common for rugby players to use supplements, undergo conditioning, and diet. 

    It's a game for only huge players

    Rugby is a sport that requires a lot more than brute force. Many games are decided by a rugby team that can come up with a strategy that requires fast-paced movements. Simple moves like lateral passes often get past teams with huge players who don't prepare to handle it.

    Rugby Betting Rugby Betting

    Rugby Betting

    Betting is an activity that occurs in both formal and informal settings. For this reason, it is challenging to determine when the first rugby bets were placed. However, many bookies realised massive gains from betting on the Rugby Championship back in the '90s. 

    These gains would later propel popular betting sites to promote the sport on a larger scale. Today, rugby betting is very popular, with various markets available to players. One of these is handicap betting, which has become an essential part of rugby betting.

    This type of bet imposes a disadvantage or advantage on a team to create a handicap. The handicap bet is common in games involving a heavy favourite team to win the match. The list of all UK online bookmakers usually indicates a handicap using positive and negative points. The positive indicates the underdogs, while the negative indicates the favourites. You can check out our Asian handicap calculator to gain a new perspective on handicap bets.

    Individual player betting is another excellent market open to punters. This market lets players place bets specific to players, such as who will score the first try, the highest points scorer, the first yellow card of the game, and more. 

    Tournament bets are also a thing in this game. You can choose to place your bet on the winner of a tournament, who will win a league, and so on. These bets are usually outright bets and can save you time during the tournament or league season. 

    To make the most from your bets on a rugby game, you need to focus on getting the best rugby betting odds. Also, sites that offer live streaming through the best mobile betting apps for rugby are great platforms to put your wagers on.

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