South African Victor Matfield takes a lineout against New Zealand in 2006.
|Highest governing body||International Rugby Board|
|First played||Early 19th century (early forms)
1845 (first written rules)
|Mixed gender||Separate competitions|
|Categorization||Team sport, Outdoor|
|Olympic||1900, 1908, 1920 & 1924|
|Originated||1845, Rugby, Warwickshire, England|
|World Governing Body||International Rugby Board|
|Major Competitions|| The World Cup|
Rugby union is a ball sport. Two teams of 15 players play against each other. The ball used is oval in shape. The field is a rectangle shape. It is 100 meters long and 70 meters wide. At the ends of the field are two H-shaped goal-posts.
The game is played for 80 minutes in two 40-minute halves. There is a 10-minute break at half-time.
A Try is scored when a player 'scores'. A try is worth 5 points. To score a try the player must put down the ball in the 'goal area'. The goal area is behind the goal-posts.
Once a try has been scored, the team has a chance to score extra points. The goal kicker kicks the ball towards the goal-posts. The ball must pass between the two upright goal-posts and above the cross-piece. If it does, the team is awarded 2 additional points. This act is known as a 'conversion'.
Another method of scoring points is through penalties. When a team breaks the rules, the referee may award a penalty. The goal-kicker kicks towards the goal-posts. The ball must pass between the two upright goal-posts and above the cross-piece. If it does, the team is awarded 3 points.
During play, the goal-kicker can also attempt a 'drop-goal'. The goal-kicker kicks towards the goal-posts. The ball must pass between the two upright goal-posts and above the cross-piece. If it does, the team is awarded 3 points.
1 : Loose head prop
2 : Hooker
3 : Tight head prop
4 : Lock / Second row
5 : Lock / Second row
6 : Blind side flanker / blind-side wing-forward
7 : Open side flanker / open-side wing-forward
8 : Number 8
9 : Scrum-half
10 : Fly half/outside-half/outhalf (or first-five-eighth)
11 : Left-wing
12 : Inside centre (or second-five-eighth)
13 : Outside centre
14 : Right-wing
15 : Fullback
and Georgia taking a lineout in the 2007 Rugby World Cup]]
[[File:|thumb|A rugby tackle: tackles must be low down on the body, with the aim of impeding or grounding the player with the ball]]
The laws of Rugby Union are a bit complicated.
The key rule to rugby union play is that the person who is carrying the ball at any time cannot pass the ball to a teammate who is closer to the opposition goal line. The ball must always be passed sideways or backwards.
Only the player with the ball may be tackled. Tackling is when the player with the ball is brought to the ground by an opposition player. The opposition player must use their hands to hold onto the ball carrier, and wrestle them to the ground.
When the player with the ball is on the ground, players from the opposition team may stand over him and attempt to grab the ball off them. The opposition players must remain standing ('on their feet'). Meanwhile, the player with the ball will try to pass the ball backwards along the ground to a teammate. His teammates will pile their bodies on top of the player with the ball to stop the opposition from getting it.
During the game, there are four officials who enforce the rules. The referee runs alongside players as they play the game. The referee controls the game.
The two touch-judges patrol the out-of-bounds areas. They also indicate when a goal kick has been successful.
The TMO, or 'television match official', helps the referee with difficult decisions. Only some games use a TMO.
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Here are sentences from other pages on Rugby union, which are similar to those in the above article.