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The Basics


Rugby was first played in England 1823 when, legend has it; William Webb Ellis picked up a football and ran with it. Today, more than 4.5 million players in over 100 countries worldwide play the game.

There are 15 players and seven reserves in a rugby team, and it is played on a grass field with an oval ball.  The ball may be carried forward or kicked forward but must only be passed backwards to teammates.

A game lasts for 80 minutes – broken into 40-minute halves.

The object is to ground the ball over the opposition goal line and score a try, all the while defending your own goal line from being crossed by the opposition. The same 15 players remain on the field regardless of whether they are attacking or defending.

Scoring a try is worth five points and it also gives the team a chance to add a further two points if the goal kicker can ‘convert’ the try.  This is done by kicking the ball from the ground to between the goal posts. And one more thing - and the kick must be taken in line with where the try was scored.

The other way to score points is by kicking a penalty goal, awarded after an infringement by the other team, or a dropped goal – that’s when a player bounces the ball on the ground before striking it, and both of these are worth three points each.