Rugby Football Union

Last updated
Rugby Football Union
England national rugby union team (emblem).svg
Sport Rugby union
Founded1871;148 years ago (1871)
WR affiliation1890
Rugby Europe affiliation1999 [1]
Patron Prince Harry
Chairman Andy Cosslett
PresidentChris Kelly
Men's coach Eddie Jones
Women's coach Simon Middleton
Sevens coach Simon Amor
Website englandrugby.com

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.

Rugby union Team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which 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 between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.

World Rugby rugby union international governing body

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.

England national rugby union team sportsteam in rugby union

The England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won this championship on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful outright winners in the tournament's history. They are ranked fourth in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 18 March 2019. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, when they won the tournament back in 2003. They were also runners-up in 1991 and 2007.

Contents

The RFU is an industrial and provident society owned by over 2,000 member clubs, [2] representing over 2.5 million registered players, [3] and forms the largest rugby union society in the world, and one of the largest sports organisations in England. It is based at Twickenham Stadium, London.

Industrial and provident society

An industrial and provident society (IPS) was a legal entity for a trading business or voluntary organisation in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and New Zealand. The name is still used in New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and within the UK in Northern Ireland.

Twickenham Stadium rugby stadium in London

Twickenham Stadium is a rugby union stadium in Twickenham, south west London, England. Owned by the governing body of rugby union in England, the Rugby Football Union, the stadium hosts home test matches for the England national rugby union team. Other rugby union games played at the stadium include the Middlesex Sevens, selected Premiership Rugby fixtures, selected Anglo-Welsh Cup matches, the Varsity Match between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and selected European Rugby Champions Cup matches. The RFU headquarters are in the stadium.

In September 2010 the equivalent women's rugby body, the Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW), was able to nominate a member to the RFU Council to represent women and girls rugby. The RFUW was integrated into the RFU in July 2012.

The Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW) was the governing body for women's rugby union in England. As of 2014 the RFUW and Rugby Football Union combined to be one National Governing Body. The headquarters are at Twickenham Stadium, London.

Early history (19th century)

The First England Team, 1871, in the 1st international, vs Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland won by 1 goal & 1 try to 1 try England 1871 first.jpg
The First England Team, 1871, in the 1st international, vs Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland won by 1 goal & 1 try to 1 try

Formation

On 4 December 1870, Edwin Ash of Richmond and Benjamin Burns of Blackheath published a letter in The Times suggesting that "those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play." On 26 January 1871 a meeting attended by representatives from 21 clubs was held in London at the Pall Mall Restaurant on Regent Street.

Richmond F.C. rugby union club from Richmond, London, England

Richmond Football Club is a rugby union club from Richmond, London. It is a founding member of the Rugby Football Union, and is one of the oldest football clubs. It fields teams in both men's and women's rugby, with the men's first team recently promoted into the RFU Championship, and the women's first team playing in the women's premiership.

Benjamin Burns Rugby union footballer

Benjamin Henry Burns was a Scottish rugby union footballer who represented England in the first international match against Scotland in 1871.

Blackheath Football Club is a rugby union club based in Well Hall, Eltham in south-east London.

Plaque marking the foundation location of the RFU RFU-foundation-plaque.jpg
Plaque marking the foundation location of the RFU

The 21 clubs present at the meeting were: Blackheath (represented by Burns and Frederick Stokes, the latter becoming the first captain of England), [4] Richmond, Ravenscourt Park, West Kent, Marlborough Nomads, Wimbledon Hornets, Gipsies, Civil Service, The Law Club, Wellington College, Guy's Hospital, Flamingoes, Clapham Rovers, Harlequin F.C., King's College Hospital, St Paul's, Queen's House, Lausanne, Addison, Mohicans, and Belsize Park. The one notable omission was the Wasps. According to one version, a Wasps' representative was sent to attend the meeting, but owing to a misunderstanding was sent to the wrong venue at the wrong time on the wrong day; another version is that he went to a venue of the same name where, after consuming a number of drinks, he realised his mistake but was too drunk to make his way to the correct venue. Ealing Rugby Club (now Ealing Trailfinders) also received an invitation, but their representative stopped in a public house and also missed the meeting.

Ravenscourt Park was a short lived 19th century English rugby union club that was notable for being one of the twenty-one founding members of the Rugby Football Union, as well as supplying a number of international players for the sport's early international fixtures.

The West Kent Football Club was a short-lived 19th century rugby football club that was notable for being one of the twenty-one founding members of the Rugby Football Union, as well as producing a number of international players in the sport's early international fixtures.

The Marlborough Nomads was a 19th-century English rugby union club that was notable for being one of the twenty-one founding members of the Rugby Football Union. They also supplied a number of players for the sport's early international fixtures.

Re-excommunication: cartoon by J. M. Staniforth. The RFU is represented as a religious cabal, expelling Arthur "Monkey" Gould from their "church" over the "Gould Affair". Gould, in his Newport jersey, appears unconcerned Re-excommunication - JM Staniforth.png
Re-excommunication: cartoon by J. M. Staniforth. The RFU is represented as a religious cabal, expelling Arthur "Monkey" Gould from their "church" over the "Gould Affair". Gould, in his Newport jersey, appears unconcerned

As a result of this meeting the Rugby Football Union (RFU) was founded. Algernon Rutter was elected as the first president of the RFU, and Edwin Ash was elected as treasurer. Three lawyers who were Rugby School alumni (Rutter, Holmes and L.J. Maton) drew up the first laws of the game, which were approved in June 1871.

Rugby School independent school in the United Kingdom

Rugby School is a day and boarding co-educational independent school in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. Founded in 1567 as a free grammar school for local boys, it is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain. Up to 1667, the school remained in comparative obscurity. Its re-establishment by Thomas Arnold during his time as Headmaster, from 1828 to 1841, was seen as the forerunner of the Victorian public school. It is one of the original seven Great Nine Public Schools defined by the Clarendon Commission of 1864. Rugby School was also the birthplace of Rugby football. In 1845, three Rugby School pupils produced the first written rules of the "Rugby style of game".

Although similar unions were organised during the next few years in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, France, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, the RFU was the first and therefore had no need to distinguish itself from others by calling itself the English RFU.

Northern clubs secede – Rugby League

Twenty-two rugby clubs from across the north of England met on 29 August 1895 in the George Hotel in Huddersfield, where they voted to secede from the Rugby Football Union[ why? ] and set up the Northern Rugby Football Union (later renamed the Rugby Football League). The RFU took strong action against the clubs involved in the formation of the NRFU, all of whom were deemed to have forfeited their amateur status and therefore to have left the RFU. A similar interpretation was applied to all players who played either for or against such clubs, whether or not they received any compensation. These players were barred indefinitely from any involvement in organised rugby union. These comprehensive and enduring sanctions, combined with the very localised nature of most rugby competition, meant that most northern clubs had little practical option but to affiliate with the NRFU in the first few years of its existence.[ citation needed ]

The modern era (1970 – present)

The RFU long resisted competitions and leagues fearing that they would encourage foul play and professionalism. The first club competition, then known as the R.F.U. Club Competition, took place in 1972. Following a sponsorship agreement it became known as the John Player Cup in 1976.

The RFU agreed to the formation of a league pyramid in 1987.

In 2005 the RFU began talks about a merger with the governing body for women's rugby union the RFUW. In September 2010 the RFUW was able to nominate a member to the RFU Council to represent women and girls rugby. The RFUW was integrated into the RFU in July 2012.

Structure

In response to the faltering results of the England national team, Rob Andrew was appointed on 18 August 2006 by the RFU to the post of Director of Elite Rugby, to oversee all aspects of representative rugby in England from the regional academies to the full senior side, including senior team selection powers and the power to hire and fire coaches at all levels of English rugby. Andrew also had the task of building bridges with the premiership clubs and the RFU in terms of players withdrawal from their club duties for international duties. On 6 January 2011 his role of Director of Elite Rugby was scrapped in an overhaul of the organisation's structure.

Chief executive John Steele opted to create a single rugby department divided into the areas of performance, operations and development with the emphasis on "delivering rugby at all levels", with each area having its own director. [5]

National teams

Men's team

The England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won this championship outright on a total of 28 occasions (with the addition of 10 shared victories), 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful team in the tournament's history. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, when they won the tournament back in 2003. They were also runners-up in 1991 and 2007. They are currently ranked fourth in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 19 November 2018.

Women's national team

The England women's national rugby union team first played in 1982.[ citation needed ] England have taken part in every Women's Rugby World Cup competition. They won the competition in 1994 by defeating the United States 38–23 in the final, and again in 2014 by beating Canada 21–9 in the final. They finished as runner-up on four other occasions. Their coach is Simon Middleton after their coach Gary Street, who had been head coach since 2006, retired in 2015.

Men's national sevens team

The England national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games. England's best finish in the Sevens Series is second place, which they have achieved four times, most recently in the 2016-17 season. The England Sevens team has generated several notable sevens players. Ben Gollings holds the record for points scored on the Sevens Series with 2,652 points. Dan Norton holds the record for tries scored on the Sevens Series with 261 tries as of June 2017. England's Simon Amor (2004) and Ollie Phillips (2009) have each won a World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year award.

World Championship winning teams (7)

England men's senior team

England women's senior team

England men's under-20

England men's sevens

Domestic high-level competitions

Premiership

Premiership Rugby is an English professional rugby union competition. The Premiership consists of twelve clubs, and is the top division of the English rugby union system. Premiership clubs qualify for Europe's two main club competitions, the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The team finishing at the bottom of the Premiership each season is relegated to the second-division RFU Championship, and the winner of the Championship is promoted to the Premiership. The competition has been played since 1987, and has evolved into the current Premiership system. The current champions are Saracens. The most recently promoted side are the newly named Bristol Bears.

Championship

The RFU Championship is the second tier of the English rugby union league system and was founded in September 1987. The league was previously known as National Division One and in 2009 changed from a league consisting of semi-professional clubs to one that is now fully professional. The current champions are Bristol Bears who won promotion to the English Premiership after beating the Yorkshire Carnegie in a two-legged play-off, having finished first in the league during the regular season.

Premier 15s

The Premier 15s is the top tier of the women's English rugby union domestic league system run by the Rugby Football Union. The league was created mainly from teams in the Women's Premiership. Its first season began on 16 September 2017. The current champions are Saracens, with the runners up being Harlequins.

See also

Related Research Articles

Premiership Rugby is an English professional rugby union competition. The Premiership consists of twelve clubs, and is the top division of the English rugby union system. Premiership clubs qualify for Europe's two main club competitions, the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The team finishing at the bottom of the Premiership each season is relegated to the second division, the RFU Championship; the winner of the Championship is promoted to the Premiership.

The Anglo-Welsh Cup, was a cross-border rugby union knock-out cup competition that featured the 12 Premiership Rugby clubs and the four Welsh regions. The competition was seen by most clubs as a tournament to experiment with younger and upcoming players, with many regular team starters rested from the match day squad. Prior to 2005 the cup was an all-English competition, and before the establishment of the English league structure in 1987 represented the premier competition in English club rugby.

Scottish Rugby Union governing body of rugby union in Scotland

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. 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 the 4th August 2018.

London Welsh RFC rugby union team

London Welsh Rugby Football Club is a professional rugby union club formed in 1885. Based in Old Deer Park, Richmond-upon-Thames, London Welsh RFC played in the English Premiership in the 2012–13 and 2014–15 seasons, after gaining promotion from the RFU Championship in the 2012 and 2014 play-off final. The club returned to Old Deer Park in 2015 after three seasons at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford.

Wakefield RFC

Wakefield RFC was an English rugby union club, founded in 1901 and folded in 2004 as a result of poor finances, with a trading loss of £105,000 for the season and unsecured creditors' loans of approximately £640,000. The club's final season was in 2003–04 when they were relegated after losing to Coventry RFC in their final match. The club was based at College Grove in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Rugby union in England

Rugby union in England is one of the leading professional and recreational team sports. In 1871 the Rugby Football Union, the governing body for rugby union in England, was formed by 21 rugby clubs, and the first international match, which involved England, was played in Scotland. The English national team compete annually in the Six Nations Championship, and are former world champions after winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The top domestic men's club competition is Premiership Rugby, and English clubs also compete in international competitions such as the European Rugby Champions Cup. The top domestic women's competition is the Premier 15s.

Darlington Mowden Park R.F.C.

Darlington Mowden Park is a professional rugby union club, based in Darlington, County Durham, England. They currently compete in National League 1, the third division of the Rugby Football Union domestic league competition pyramid, having achieved promotion on 3 May 2014, after defeating Ampthill in the 2013–14 play-off. The club's former name, Darlington Grammar School Old Boys, was changed when they moved to Yiewsley Drive, which was located in Mowden. They relocated to The Darlington Arena, a 25,000 all-seater stadium in Darlington, purchasing the previously-vacated ground for £2 million; Yiewsley Drive had previously been sold to a housing estate company, and the Arena was previously owned by Darlington Football Club. They played their first game at the arena on 2 February 2013, in front of a crowd of over 1,000, comprehensively defeating Bromsgrove 62–7 in a National League 2 North league game.

Old Albanian RFC rugby club based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England

Old Albanian Rugby Football Club (OAs) is a rugby club based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England. The club currently plays in National League 2 South following their relegation from National League 1 at the end of the 2017-18 season.

The England women's national rugby union team first played in 1982. England were the 2014 Rugby World Cup champions after beating Canada in the final. Their coach is Simon Middleton after their coach Gary Street, who had been head coach since 2006, contract wasn't renewed. Street now coaches Harlequins Ladies.

The Women's Premiership, also called the RFUW Premiership is the top level of women's rugby union in England. It was formed in 1990 and is run by the Rugby Football Union for Women.

Rugby union is one of the most popular sports, in terms of both participants and spectators in London. London has several of England's leading rugby union clubs, and the city is home to 13 teams playing in national leagues, and many regional amateur leagues regulated by the London and South East Division Rugby Football Union. However, several of these teams, due to necessity, have found homes at stadia outside the boundaries of the capital. The sport is well established, especially in the middle-class suburbs to the north and west of the city. Four of the twelve clubs currently in the Aviva Premiership have London origins.

Bristol Ladies, formally Clifton Ladies RFC, is a women's rugby union team based in Bristol, England. They are a standalone, independent rugby club, running in partnership with the Bristol Bears since becoming affiliated to them in 2008 and play their home matches at Cleve RFC in the Premier 15s.

Lichfield Ladies Rugby Union Football Club is a women's rugby union club based in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. They play their home matches at Cooke Fields and play in the Women's Premiership. They are also the women's team of Lichfield Rugby Union Football Club.

The Premier 15s, currently known for sponsorship purposes as the Tyrrells Premier 15s, is the top tier of the women's English rugby union domestic league system run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The league was created mainly from teams in the Women's Premiership. Its first season began on 16 September 2017.

The Durham County Rugby Football Union is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in the county of Durham in England, as well as parts of Tyne and Wear. The union is the constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for Durham County, and administers and organises rugby union clubs and competitions in the county. It also administers the Durham county rugby representative teams.

The RFU Intermediate Cup is a rugby union national knockout cup competition in England run by the Rugby Football Union. It is contested by teams at level 7 of the English rugby union system. While the competition is a national one, it is however split into regions until the semi-finals with the final being held at Twickenham Stadium in London. It was first contested in 1997. Presently, the RFU Intermediate Cup is the third most important club cup competition in England, behind the Premiership Rugby Cup and RFU Championship Cup.

The RFU Championship Cup is an annual rugby union competition introduced by the RFU in 2018 to provide a cup competition for English second tier clubs playing in the RFU Championship, following the disbanding of the British and Irish Cup at the end of the 2017-18 season. At present the Championship Cup is scheduled to take place for at least two seasons.

The RFU Senior Vase is a rugby union national knockout cup competition in England run by the Rugby Football Union, which has been competed for since the 2006–07 season. It is contested for by teams at level 8 of the English rugby union system, with only 1st XV sides being allowed to enter. The competition is a national one but is split into regions until the semi-finals with the final being held at Twickenham Stadium in London. As of 2018-19 it is the fourth most prestigious national club cup competition in England behind the Premiership Rugby Cup, RFU Championship Cup and RFU Intermediate Cup.

The RFU Junior Vase is a rugby union national knockout cup competition in England run by the Rugby Football Union, which has been competed for since 1990. It is mostly contested by 1st XV teams at level 9 of the English rugby union system, although sides as low as level 12 or even outside the league system can sometimes enter. The competition is a national one, but split into regions until the national semi-finals with the final being held at Twickenham Stadium in London. Presently, the RFU Junior Vase is the fifth most important club cup competition in England, behind the Premiership Rugby Cup, RFU Championship Cup, RFU Intermediate Cup and RFU Senior Vase.

References

  1. Official Site of FIRA Archived January 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Careers and Vacancies at the RFU". Rugby Football Union. Archived from the original on January 9, 2011.
  3. "International Rugby Board - England". International Rugby Board. Archived from the original on 2010-03-31.
  4. Steve Lewis, One Among Equals, page 9, 2008, (Vertical Editions:London)
  5. "Rob Andrew's role at RFU scrapped in overhaul". BBC News. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2014.