The Basic Guide to Rugby Union and its History in India

The Basic Guide to Rugby Union and its History in India

Rugby is not a simple sport, it requires stamina, toughness, and strength in the field. In short, because it is physically demanding, it needs confidence and bravery to face it. Therefore, this sport will surely give you a full packed action and intensity to every move of the players make. To understand more of this sport, read the article thoroughly.

The Sport

Rugby Union, also known as rugby, is a contact team sport developed in Greece and Rome but formally grounding in the United Kingdom and in major parts of Europe. Rugby is a highly rigorous sport that is played between two teams where players tackle a ball and aim to shoot it in the opponent’s goal by grinding it to the ground.

Rugby is a popular form of football. Essentially, a team game played with an oval ball being held, kicked and passed while points are scored by burying the ball behind the goal line of the opponent.

This sport is a highly intense game that will bring so much thrill and excitement as you watch it live.

Rugby History in India

Rugby Union in India dates back to one or two scratch matches played during MS Galatea’s 1871 tour in Kolkata and Madras. Furthermore, the first recorded match was played between England and a combined team of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales on Christmas Day 1872, at CFC in Kolkata.

But, when India’s national team played in Singapore, they lost 85-0. The group was then accepted to the International Rugby Board in 2001, followed by a first UK tour in 2003. Hence, this consisted of playing three Midlands sides, all resulting in large defeats, including a staggering 153-0 defeat from a Welford Road Leicester Tigers XV. During their visit, they also failed to score a single try.

In 2007, India tried to qualify in France, Scotland, and Wales for the Rugby World Cup. Hence, they were put for the qualifiers in Asian Division 3, Pool B, where India finished second out of four teams with 1 win, 1 tie, and 1 loss. As only the first-place team went on to second qualifying round where India was formally knocked out of World Cup 2007.

The Indian Rugby Union Team tried to qualify again for the Rugby World Cup in 2008. This time though qualification was different as India had to compete in the 2008 Asian Five Nations instead of the group stage and win it to move on to qualifying round 2. While India lost its first match against Thailand and had to settle for 3rd place after winning a 2nd place match against Pakistan in which India achieved its biggest ever victory by beating Pakistan 92–0.

Game Objective

The main objective of the game is to score more points than the opponent in a span of 80 minutes, the allotted time for each match.

Basic Rugby Union Rules

  • Each rugby team will consist of 15 players.  The team is split into two groups known as forwards and backs. There are 8 forwards positions including Hooker, Prop, Second Row, Flanker and Number Eight. And 7 backs including Scrum Half, Fly Half, Inside Center, Outside Center, Wingers, and Full Back.
  • The game is divided into two 40-minute halves with a 10-minute break in between.
  • The game’s basic law is that no player must throw the ball to a teammate. Passes must be tossed sideways or back to a teammate in rugby. The other ways to move the ball to the goal line of the opposition to score points us through kicking and running with the ball.
  • Players can only tackle by wrapping their arms around their opponents to get them to the ground and players are not allowed to tackle opponents above their shoulders, using their legs to tackle or trip them.
  • The game starts with a position kick or a halfway line dropkick. If a penalty kick or drop goal is scored during the game, the team that has just awarded the points must restart the game with a dropkick from the halfway line.
  • Also, players can tackle each other in order to get the ball as long below the shoulder. On being tackled to the ground, the player who was holding the ball must release it.

Rugby Union in India

Rugby Union in India is a minor sport, yet a rising sport as some Indian sporting clubs are accepting the game. In May 2016, India ranked 77th in the rugby playing nations and Division 3 South-Central titleholder in the Asia Rugby Championship.

Hence, India has been recognized among five countries—the other four being the USA, China, Brazil and Germany, that likely to witness a rising growth of the sport. India also makes up 33% of the 800 million followers of the game globally, aside from China and the USA.

Therefore, this sport will never be at the least of most played games in India.

Final Words

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