New to rugby? Never even seen the game before? Or are you a veteran player and think you know everything about rugby? Let’s test it out!
- Pigs donated a lot to rugby – The very first rugby balls were actually made of pig’s bladders. They were shaped like plums and were dried and blown with air in order to keep its shape. Production was also quite risky back then. Hygiene was not always thought of when developing the balls.
2. Rugby originated the tradition of national anthems as sporting events-Back in the day, it was not at all expected for teams to showcase their anthems. There was only one team in particular that made a show of their nationalistic representation: The New Zealand rugby team. It was part of their cultural heritage to do a taunting chant called the Haka. This was their traditional battle cry and was quite distinctly Maori.
It was not until a Welsh rugby team started to sing their national anthem in response to the Haka that the concept stuck. Because it was so particularly stirring and very symbolic of whom they were fighting for, more and more teams started to sing their national anthems before matches.
3. Every Rugby World Cup has been started using the same whistle
4. A rugby coach invented basketball-
In 1891, a rugby coach by the name of James Naismith was busy thinking of a way to keep his athletes in peak physical form even during the winter months.
You see, rugby was an outdoor sport and it simply did not do to expose athletes to such harsh conditions. So Naismith devised a plan to do an indoor exercise that would keep his players lean and in top running condition. He also had to make sure that they were in no imminent danger that would keep them out of the game when the seasons turned.
He still wanted it to be a ball-centric activity in order to keep the team’s coordination sharp. He took all of those elements together and ended up created basketball—one of the first indoor team sports to be made.
While there are those that say that basketball has overtaken rugby’s popularity all over the world, it does not really matter to most rugby lovers. All we simply have to say to that is: you are quite welcome, basketball fans!
5. Originally no points were awarded for a try
At first, crossing the touchline with a ball earned you the opportunity to try and score a goal, get it? Goals were scored by placing the ball on the ground and kicking it through the goal posts.
Now, a try is worth 5 points in rugby union, and 4 in rugby league. Players then get a chance to earn an extra two points by scoring a conversion (kicking it through the goal posts).