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What is Rugby?

Rugby is a game with 15 players in each team and is a full contact sport. The aim of the game, like most sports, is to outperform the opposing team. You score points with tries and goals. A try is worth 5 points and this is when a player carries a ball above or outside the goal line and places the ball, with at least one hand or arm in the opposing team’s goal.


A conversion is a kick to the goal, the goalpost is in an H-shape in rugby. To score a goal, a player who goes for a conversion must kick the ball either with a falling kick or a placed ball (conversion) given as a result of the try scored, between the post and crossing the crossbar. This is worth 2 extra points.

Penalties are given for violations or major violations. The violated team has the option to kick for the goal (for 3 points) or to take territorial advantage and attempt a try.

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The Rugby game lasts for 80 minutes in two halves, unlike football which lasts for two halves of 45 minutes.

Rugby is played by hand, but kicks are allowed. The ball can be kicked in all directions; however, it can only be thrown backwards. The player tries to stop the opposing team by tackling them. Only players with balls can be tackled.  When you first take up the sport, check out the Rugby Drill videos on

If you’re looking for some helpful training drills

Some Rugby terminology

Scrum – is used to restart the game after a small violation such as a knock (when a player fails to handle the ball and it moves forward) and a forward pass.

Kick Starts – the game starts at the beginning of each round with a kick from the halfway line. The ball must travel further than 10 meters to half the opposing team.

Tackle – Only players carrying the ball can be tackled. Tackling is finished when the player with the ball is brought to the ground. This is immediately after the knee of the ball-carrying player touches the ground. The player who is tackling must let the tackled player immediately stand up and the tackled player must then immediately play the ball.

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Ruck – more than one player from the same side binds each other together with the ball on the ground between them.

Maul – a player who carries the ball held by more than one opponent and then the ball carrier joins more than one team-mate. Players must stand still.

Scrum – Scrum can be formed to restart the game after a minor violation or if the ball becomes unplayable. A scrum is made up of 8 forwards in 3 rows.

Line out – When the ball exits the game on one of the side lines, a lineout is formed and one of the players from the team that did not touch the last ball before leaving the game throws it.

There are 2 main types of rugby, rugby league and rugby union. The difference is mainly in several rules.

Men and women play separately because there is no mixed team. Children can also play rugby, which tends to be touch rugby, as opposed to full contact. A player is tackled when they are touched by an opposing player.


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