Governing Bodies: International Rugby Board, Rugby League International Federation
Conferences: European Superleague, National Rugby League (Australia and New Zealand), Rugby League Championship (Great Britain), French Rugby League
Major Championships: Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby, Rugby League World Cup, Six Nations, Four Nations Series, World Rugby Sevens Series
Biggest Rivalries: Georgia versus Russia; Wales versus Ireland; England versus Scotland; England versus France; Australia versus New Zealand; England versus Wales; New Zealand versus South Africa
International Rugby Tickets
What began in 1823 at England's Rugby School — when, legend has it, a student player named William Webb Ellis flouted the school game's kicking-only convention by picking up the ball and running with it — has become a beloved sport with three versions and nearly 10 million men, women, boys and girls playing it around the world. Rugby Union teams have 15 players, while Rugby League teams have 13 and Rugby Sevens, a shorter version of Union play, fields teams of seven. International competition began in 1872 with a Rugby Union match in which Scotland beat England. Rugby League, which began in Northern England in 1895 after a dispute with Union officials over paying players, had its first international competition in 1904, when a Welsh and Scottish team beat England. Sevens began in Scotland in 1873 and celebrated its 100th anniversary with its first international tournament in 1973,when England beat Ireland after besting several other national teams. All types of rugby feature fierce competition between nations and offer fast-paced excitement for fans. Grab your international rugby tickets at StubHub.
How are the many rugby teams organized to compete internationally?
Each nation has both Rugby League and Rugby Union play. Each major city within a nation has its own rugby team. For example, in England, Leicester, Exeter and Gloucester each host a Rugby Union team. The country fields a team that competes for the annual Guinness Six Nations championship with national teams from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Italy. Every four years, England also vies against top Rugby Union teams from around the globe for the Rugby World Cup. South Africa won the title in the 2019 competition that was hosted by Japan and involved 20 teams. England also participates in the Four Nations competition consisting of annual Rugby League events for both hemispheres. In 2020, England, France, Papua New Guinea and Fiji will represent the Northern Hemisphere, while Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa will face off in the Southern Hemisphere. Rugby Sevens teams made their first appearance in the 2016 Summer Olympics and will take part again in 2020. They also compete internationally in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
How is the championship team for Rugby Union selected?
The Rugby Union has evolved its mode of championship determination over time. Until 1987, it did not decide a world champion but instead relied upon various conference championships. It still hosts the annual competitions to determine the Six Nations (European) champion. However, in 1987, the sport added a World Cup modeled after the FIFA soccer competition. In order to avoid stepping on FIFA toes, it plays its World Cup in uneven years with four years between competitions. The last one occurred in 2019. Its playoffs begin in September and end with the final match in November.
What venues host international rugby matches and how big are they?
The Rugby Union matches in the World Cup play of 2019 took place in locations such as Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Japan and in Tokyo, Japan, at the Ajinomoto Stadium. The final match for the 2019 World Cup was played at the Yokohama Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 70,000. Other venues, such as the Ajinomoto Stadium, seat nearly 50,000.
What team is the current World Cup champion?
The winner of the 2019 Rugby World Cup was South Africa. It defeated England with a 32 to 12 landslide victory.
How is the tailgating scene at the international rugby competitions?
Tailgating at these events varies by country. Many countries differ from the US which typically enjoys tailgating at its team sports events. The more conservative Japan, for example, does not encourage such activities and has intricate etiquette for what is proper. Canada and England have begun hosting tailgating parties similar to those held in the US. It is taking longer for England to warm to the idea, though.Back to Top
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