|Rugby union in Albania|
Rugby union in Albania is a minor but growing team sport in the country, and progress is continuing with the aim of creating a federation for the sport once four teams become active.
Rugby football is a collective name for the family of team sports of rugby union and rugby league, as well as the earlier forms of football from which both games, Association football, Australian rules football, and Gridiron football evolved. Canadian and to a lesser extent American gridiron football were also broadly considered forms of rugby football but are seldom now referred to as such.
Rugby union, widely 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.
Rugby league, often called simply as rugby or league, is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field measuring 68 m wide and 112–122 m long. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to the players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.
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.
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 Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) is the governing body of rugby union in the country of Wales, recognised by the sport's international governing body, World Rugby.
Rugby Canada is the national governing body for the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Canada was incorporated in 1974, and stems from the Canadian Rugby Football Union, a body established in 1884 that now governs amateur Canadian football as Football Canada; and the now-defunct Rugby Union of Canada, established in 1929. Rugby Canada administers the Canada national rugby union team and sanctions the Rugby Canada National Junior Championship, a national competition for under-20 men's teams. It previously sanctioned the Super League as the premier level of men's competition in the country, but scrapped that league after the Americas Rugby Championship was created in 2009 as a two-stage competition in which the first involved only Canadian teams.
Rugby league is played across England but is most popular in Northern England, especially Yorkshire and Lancashire where the game originated. These areas are the heartland of rugby league. The sport is also popular in Cumbria where the amateur game is particularly powerful.
Rugby league is a comparatively minor sport in Scotland, dwarfed by the popularity of association football, and to a lesser extent sports such as rugby union, curling, ice hockey and shinty. With the introduction of rugby league into a small number schools and the formation of youth rugby league in Scotland it has seen juniors being signed to Super League clubs.
The French Rugby Federation is the governing body for rugby union in France. It is responsible for the French national team and the Ligue nationale de rugby that administers the country's professional leagues.
Rugby union in Scotland is a popular team sport. Scotland's national side today competes in the annual Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup. The first ever international rugby match was played on 27 March 1871, at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh, when Scotland defeated England in front of 4,000 people. Professional clubs compete in the Pro14, European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup, while the Scottish League Championship exists for over 200 amateur and semi-professional clubs, as does a knock-out competition, the Scottish Cup. The governing body, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), is one of the ten first-tier member nations of World Rugby.
The Italian Rugby Federation or FIR is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in Italy. The FIR has one seat on the 28-member World Rugby Council, the governing body of World Rugby.
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.
Rugby union in the United States is the fastest growing sport in the nation. Rugby union at the youth, high school, college, amateur club, professional, and international levels is governed by USA Rugby. There are over 125,000 players registered with USA Rugby as of 2016. Over 2,500 rugby clubs exist around the country, including those of whom are part of college rugby. Professional club competition exists as Major League Rugby since 2017.
Rugby union in Venezuela is a team sport that is played as an amateur sport.
Sport in England plays a prominent role in English society. Popular teams sports in England include football, field hockey, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, and netball. Major individual sports include badminton, athletics, tennis, boxing, golf, cycling, motorsport and horseracing. Cricket is regarded as the national summer sport. Association football is the most popular sport, followed by Cricket, Tennis and Rugby. A number of modern sports were codified in England during the nineteenth century, among them cricket, rugby union, rugby league, football, field hockey, squash, tennis, and badminton. The game of baseball was first described in 18th century England.
Rugby union in Turkey is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in the Netherlands is a minor but growing sport.. The sport is governed by the Dutch Rugby Union, which organizes the Netherlands national rugby union team.
Rugby union in the Soviet Union was a moderately popular sport. It was most popular in the Georgian SSR; parts of the Russian SFSR such as Moscow and certain regions in Siberia like Krasnoyarsk; and Alma-Ata, the capital of the Kazakh SSR. Rugby enjoyed a more limited popularity in the Ukrainian SSR, Minsk in the Byelorussian SSR and parts of the RSFSR such as Leningrad and areas in Southern Russia, including Krasnodar. Rugby gained a significant following due to the vast size of the Soviet Union, but was never a major sport; despite many attempts to develop the sport, which Soviet citizens came to nickname the "leather melon" due to the shape of the ball. Still, an early championship in 1960 gives an idea of the sheer scale of Soviet rugby: one hundred teams from over thirty cities took part.