As the national debate continues about whether to pay college athletes, it is informative to narrate the start of the first large, paying crowds attending a sporting event. In 1881, Yale and Princeton played rugby in New York City’s Polo Grounds, attracting 10,000 spectators.
That an autumnal athletic contest could draw such a sizable number of people surprised college administrators. Yale, under... Read More
In the late 1960s, when rugby started to proliferate in the country, two entrepreneurs, one on either coast, decided that what the nascent sport needed was a dedicated, informative publication. First out of the media gate was Chuck Lyons from Santa Barbara (Peninsula Ramblers RFC) who, in 1966, printed “RUGBY USA.” A year later in 1967, New Yorker Jon Prusmack (WESTCHESTER RFC) began “SCRUMDOWN... Read More
The historic 140th anniversary of the first rugby game in the United States passed without giving proper recognition to the contest between McGill University of Montreal and Harvard, played in Cambridge, Mass. over two-days on May 14 and 15, 1874.
The visit by the Canadians effectively introduced a passing-tackling rugby version with defined rules to an American college for the first time. A year... Read More
One hundred and five years ago today, December 12, 1909, two rugby fifteens from Ottawa and Hamilton in Canada traveled south to New York City to give an exhibition of rugby. It represented the last chance for the game to be considered as a substitute for gridiron football on the east coast. Rugby had already replaced American football at Stanford and Cal in 1906 and at other western universities... Read More
This Saturday, November 1, will witness another in a long-standing series of classic rugby matches of the famous Barbarian XV against Australia at Twickenham. The game again moves the “Baa-Baas” (official nickname) into the limelight in a match known historically as “The Final Challenge,” denoting the last test in the UK for either the touring Wallabies, All Blacks, or Springboks.
History of the... Read More
Twickenham is as celebrated as the game of rugby is itself, acknowledged as the most famous venue in all of rugbydom. For many fans, a visit to the historic place seems like a pilgrimage to a hallowed sports mecca, a once in a life time memorable event.
From its humble beginnings in 1909/1910, when the RFU bought a cabbage patch in the Borough of Richmond, the stadium has produced some of the... Read More
First 100 Years – Milestones
1823 – William Webb Ellis runs with the ball at Rugby School.
1839 – First rugby club formed at Cambridge by a Rugbeian.
1843 – Club formed at Guy’s Hospital.
1858 – Clubs started at Edinburgh and Black Heath.
1866 – Blackheath and Richmond abolish hacking.
1869 – Rugby comes to Oxford.
1871 – Rugby Football Union (RFU) formed in London
1871 – First written laws.
1871... Read More
Going to match at Twickenham, or planning a guided, on field and England locker room tour, then a must add on is a visit to the World Rugby Museum in the East Stand.
Originally called the Museum of Rugby, it has changed to World Rugby Museum to accommodate the international aspect of the sport.
Under the professional guidance of experienced Curator, Michael Rowe, the space is a treasure trove of... Read More
The English team arrived in London after beating Australia 20-17 down under to win the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The triumph marked the first time a northern hemisphere nation had been victorious, the previous other five RWC winners were Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
What no one in England could imagine was the spontaneous outpouring of joy that culminated in a parade through London that... Read More
Rugby School occupies two, parallel worlds; a centuries’ old, venerated English public school, and also, the acknowledged birthplace of rugby football.
To accommodate the beginning of the sport on the grounds, the school has provided modest, yet informative, buildings, plaques, and other items to commemorate its rugby past.
Statue of William Webb Ellis: Outside the confines is a statue of William... Read More