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Rugby Union!

Rugby Union had its beginnings in 1823 when a schoolboy named William Webb Ellis,  playing a soccor match at the famous Rugby School in England, picked up the ball and ran with it towards his opponent's goal.
The game became popular, at first each side could have any number of players, but the teams where cut down, first to 20 then to the present 15.

There are claims that Rugby first came to Australia six years later, but these reports are sketchy.
Rugby was played in Australia from very early. It is known that a form of football was played in Sydney as early as the 1820's, but it's not known whether this was rugby, but the code was certainly widespread by the 1860's when Australia's first rugby club, Sydney University, became established in 1864.
Others soon sprang up and by the 1870's the Southern Rugby Union was administering over 100 clubs in NSW.

In Queensland the Northern Rugby Union was established in 1882, the same year that NSW toured New Zealand for the first time and played Queensland for the first time. A tradition of rugby tours was established as well as NSW v Queensland interstate clashes.

In 1889 Australia played its first test, against a touring British team, winning 13-3.
1903 saw Australia and New Zealand play their first test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. New Zealand won 22-3.

1908 was when Australia tour the England and Wales for the first time and call themselves the Wallabies. Australia win an Olympic Gold Medal. Rugby League became established in Australia.

In 1931 Australia and New Zealand play for the Bledisloe cup for the first time. It took till 1934 for to Australia win the Bledisloe for the first time.

It was not till 1949 that the Australian Rugby Union was formed.

In 1987 the first Rugby World Cup hosted by the New Zealand Australian Rugby Unions. The All Blacks (New Zealand) defeat France 29-9 in the Final.

The 1991-92 season saw the Wallabies create history by becoming the first Australian side to record ten straight Test Victories.
In 1995 SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australian Rugby) representing the three respective unions, strike a 10 year, US$76 million deal for the TV rights with News Limited for the new tournament involving all three nation's provinces, the Super 12, and a newly formed Test series, the Tri Nations.

Shortly afterwards, rugby was revolutionised when the war is won against a rebel organisation attempting to hijack rugby. The immediately proclaim that rugby amateur status is abolished and the game is fully professional.

In 1996 the inaugural Super 12 and Tri Nations series commence. The Wallabies tour the UK creating history by being the first to tour undefeated.
1997 was when the Wallabies and England vie for the Cook Cup for the first time.

1999 saw Australia defeat England to retain the Cook Cup for the fifth successive time. Australia continue their record breaking feats by becoming the first country to claim the World Cup twice. They defeat France 35-12 in the final.



Official Rugby Union Webpage

Rugby Heaven

World of  Rugby

Internatinal Rugby Board

Rugby Exchange

Australians Womens Rugby union

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