Rugby union commonly known simply as rugby, is a full-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is played between two teams of 15 players each, using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field called a pitch. The field has H-shaped goalposts at both ends.
The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organises the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport's most recognised and most profitable competition. It also organises a number of other international rugby competitions, such as the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Under 20 Championship, and the Pacific Nations Cup.
The England national rugby union team represents England in men's international rugby union. They compete in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. England have won the championship on 29 occasions – winning the Grand Slam 13 times and the Triple Crown 26 times – making them the most successful outright winners in the tournament's history. As of 15 October 2020, England are ranked second in the world by the International Rugby Board. They are currently the only team from the Northern Hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, having won the tournament in 2003, and have been runners-up on three other occasions.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the governing body for rugby union in England. It was founded in 1871, and was the sport's international governing body prior to the formation of what is now known as World Rugby (WR) in 1886. It promotes and runs the sport, organises international matches for the England national team, and educates and trains players and officials.
The Japan national rugby union team is traditionally the strongest rugby union power in Asia and has enjoyed and endured mixed results against non-Asian teams over the years. Rugby union in Japan is administered by the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU), which was founded in 1926. They compete annually in the Pacific Nations Cup and previously in the Asia Rugby Championship. They have also participated in every Rugby World Cup since the tournament began in 1987.
The Japan Rugby Football Union is the governing body for rugby union in Japan. It was formed 30 November 1926, and organises matches for the Japan national team.
The Scottish Rugby Union is the governing body of rugby union in Scotland. It is the second oldest Rugby Union, having been founded in 1873, as the Scottish Football Union. The SRU oversees the national league system, known as the Scottish League Championship, and the Scottish National teams. The SRU is headed by the President and Chairman, with Mark Dodson acting as the Chief Executive Officer. Bradbury became the first female president of a Tier 1 rugby nation upon her appointment on 4 August 2018.
Twickenham Stadium of Twickenham, south-western London in England, is a purpose built rugby union stadium. The Rugby Football Union (RFU), English rugby union governing body, owns and holds its headquarters at the stadium. The most notable tenant is the England national rugby union team, hosting its home test matches at the stadium.
Eddie Jones is an Australian rugby union coach and former player, head coach of the England national team. He previously coached Australia between 2001 and 2005, taking the team to the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final. He was an assistant coach for South Africa when the Springboks won the 2007 Rugby World Cup and from 2012 to 2015 he coached Japan, leading them in the 2015 Rugby World Cup and their upset win over South Africa. In November 2015, Jones was appointed as head coach for England and led them to win the 2016 Six Nations Championship and the 2017 Six Nations Championship, becoming only the second international rugby team to go the entire calendar year unbeaten. He led England to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final where they lost to South Africa.
Andrew David Farrell, is coach of the Ireland national rugby team and a former coach for the England national rugby team and former rugby league and rugby union player. He is the head coach for Ireland following the 2019 Rugby World Cup. He is the father of England rugby union player Owen Farrell.
Rugby union in Cornwall is the county's most popular spectator sport with a large following in Cornwall. The followers of the county side are dubbed Trelawny's Army. In 1991 and 1999 Cornwall made the County Championships finals, played at Twickenham Stadium, with Cornwall beating first Yorkshire and in 1999 Gloucestershire to win the cup.
The Hong Kong national rugby union team, nicknamed the Dragons, is one of the better rugby sides in Asia outside Japan, and has consistently made the repechages of the Rugby World Cup qualifying. Rugby union in Hong Kong is administered by the Hong Kong Rugby Union since 1952, and competes annually in the Asia Rugby Championship.
Women's rugby union is a full contact team sport based on running with the ball in hand. The same laws are used in men's rugby union with the same sized pitch and same equipment. Rugby was originally a men's sport, and women's rugby has become popular only more recently. These days, women's rugby is gaining a higher profile thanks to international tournaments' exposure and financial investment.
The England women's national rugby union team, also known as the Red Roses, represents England in women's international rugby union. They compete in the annual Women's Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. England have won the championship on a total of 16 out of 25 occasions – winning the Grand Slam 15 times and the Triple Crown 21 times – making them the most successful side in the tournament's history. They won the Women's Rugby World Cup in 1994 and 2014, and have been runners-up on five other occasions. Their coach is Simon Middleton.
Rugby union in China is a growing sport; however, it is still not overly popular. China became affiliated to the International Rugby Board in 1997 and as of 1 July 2019, its women's XV side was ranked 24th and its men's XV side 80th in the world. Neither the women's team nor the men's team has yet qualified for a Women's Rugby World Cup or a men's Rugby World Cup. However, China has hopes of one day hosting the men's event, and World Rugby has indicated it supports taking the event there.
James Whitinui Joseph is a New Zealand-born Japanese former rugby union player and current rugby union coach. A flanker, Joseph represented Otago at a provincial level, and was a member of the New Zealand national side, the All Blacks, from 1992 to 1995, before representing Japan in 1999. Joseph, now head coach of the Japanese national side, has coached since his retirement, coming through the ranks in New Zealand before his first national stint.
Rugby union in Sri Lanka is mainly played at a semi-professional and recreational level. It is a popular team sport with a history dating back to 1879. In 2012, according to International Rugby Board figures, there were over 103,000 registered rugby union players in Sri Lanka, making it the second largest rugby-playing nation in Asia, behind Japan.
Rugby union is not a major sport in Singapore. Singapore is currently ranked 58th in the world and 6th in Asia. As of February 2015, there over 12,000 registered players, with more than 2,000 women playing the sport. There are also 15 formally organised clubs with 4 registered Women's sides.
Harrogate Rugby Union Football Club is an English rugby union team based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The club runs three senior sides. The first team plays in North Premier, having been relegated from National League 2 North in 2016–17. The club's second team, Harrogate Georgians, plays in the Yorkshire RFU Merit Premiership and the third team play in the Yorkshire RFU 2 Central/North Merit League. The club also fields a ladies' team in the Women's Championship North 2 league, and eight junior teams.