History of Rugby: When Was The Sport Invented?

 Rugby football is a popular game. But the starting was quite different from the other sports. The game itself is different from football. In rugby games, players hold the oval ball in their arms and run to cross the line.

However, we are not here to explain the game, instead tell you the history. Let's get there.



History of Rugby

In 1823, a football match was in Rugby school in Warwickshire, England. A boy named William Webb Ellis started running with the ball in his arms. Playing with your hands was a weird incident as it was a football game. No one expected such an occurrence.

However, that was the true history of Rugby. Since then, William Webb Ellis has been known as the inventor of Rugby. There is no doubt about it. But the story has no evidence that William played with hands.

Moreover, in 1863 the boarding schools and clubs set the rules for rugby football. Eventually, the Rugby Football Union officially was formed in 1871.

After setting the rules and rugby union, the first-ever rugby match was held in 1871, just after forming everything. The match was between Scotland vs England where Scotland won the match 1-0.

Moreover, from 1846 to 1894, several official decisions were made for international rugby football. Such as: in 1846, Rugby school created all the rules of Rugby all over the world. In 1894, the rugby association created the scoring system and defined the weight of a rugby ball. The weight is between 13 and 14.5 ounces.

Birthplace of Rugby

Rugby School is the birthplace of rugby games. In 1823, Rugby school arranged a football game, and the incident took place there, as we just said. However, Rugby School is a renowned and prestigious elite school established in 1567. It is situated in Warwickshire, 100 miles from London.


Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup was named after William Webb Ellis. It was first held in 1987. Australia and New Zealand were the places where it took place. However, the All Blacks won the trophy and defeated France in the final match.

After that, every four years, the Rugby Football World Cup was held in different countries worldwide. The last World Cup was in 2019, and Japan hosted it.


Olympic History of Rugby

Rugby Games

Pierre de Coubertin introduced Rugby to the summer Olympics in 1900. He is the father of the Olympics. He found Rugby was an exciting game and therefore added on that year.

Interestingly, the world saw the highest crowd on the day of rugby football in the 1908 Olympics. It created history as well. Moreover, Australia won that game against Great Britain.

For some reason, Rugby was dropped in 1924 suddenly. No one expected such an incident as it drew the highest crowd in the Olympics tournament. Even three major nations, including New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, made their rugby team and sent them to the Olympics. But it did not continue.

After 85 years, rugby football was again voted to be held in the Olympics in 2009. And then, Rugby seven started its journey, and it's also continuing. It was an official starting journey for Rugby.



The rugby game was invented from a football match. But it has a great history that we explained here. You find this write-up an excellent choice for the history of Rugby. From 1823 to 2019, we added pretty much everything here.

You won't miss anything if you give it a second read. We included birthplace, history, rugby Olympics and World Cup so that you can find everything in one place.