A test match in rugby union is an international match, usually played between two senior national teams, that is recognised as such by at least one of the teams' national governing bodies.
Some teams do not represent a single country but their international games are still considered test matches (for example the British and Irish Lions). Likewise some countries award caps for games between their full national teams and some invitation teams such as the Barbarians.
The first men's international game of rugby football – between Scotland and England – was played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, the home ground of Edinburgh Academicals, on 27 March 1871. (This was six years before the first cricket test match, one year before the first association football international and 24 years before the first field hockey international.)
The first recorded use of the word in relation to sport occurs in 1861when it was used, especially by journalists, to designate the most important (but at that stage non-international) games played as part of a cricket tour by an unofficial English team to Australia and it is thought to arise from the idea that the matches were a "test of strength and competency" between the sides involved. When official and fully representative Australian and English cricket and rugby teams began touring each other's countries a decade or so later the term gradually began to be applied by journalists exclusively to the international fixtures on each tour, though this was not widespread until well into the 1880s.
Unlike in cricket, where the ICC tightly controls the application of "test match" status, World Rugby's regulations do not define a "test match". They define an "international match" as "a Match played between National Representative Teams selected by Unions". [ citation needed ]In rugby union, test match status and caps may be awarded by either team's governing body regardless of the decision of their opponents.
Although both teams' governing bodies do not need to recognise the match as a test match for caps to be awarded, it is rare that they should disagree. The only existing example remaining in men's rugby involving two top-tier nations concerns games played by the New South Wales Waratahs against the New Zealand All Blacks in the 1920s. As there was very little rugby union played in Australia outside of New South Wales, the Australian Rugby Union retroactively awarded caps to the players from the 1920s Waratahs that played against the All Blacks, however the New Zealand Rugby Union has not done the same for All Blacks that played in those matches.
Differences in recognition now almost always involve matches between the senior national team of a nation outside the traditional top tier and an official developmental side of a top-tier nation.[ citation needed ] Depending on the policy of the lower-tier union, these matches may or may not be fully capped for that national team. For example, before a change in policy by USA Rugby after the 2008 Churchill Cup,[ citation needed ] it awarded full national caps when its senior national team played developmental sides, such as England Saxons, Ireland Wolfhounds, Scotland A, Argentina A and the Junior All Blacks.
However, in women's rugby matters are less clear. The first women's "test" took place in 1982 between the Netherlands and France, but the sport was not widely accepted or recognised by many existing national Unions or the International Rugby Board for many years, nor had it attracted significant media interest. Some unions do not officially recognise any tests played before they became responsible for the women's game – for example the French Union (FFR) does not list any games before 1989,and the IRB did not (until recently) recognise the first two women's World Cups.
The South Africa National Rugby Union Team, commonly known as the Springboks, is the country's national team governed by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks play in green and gold jerseys, with white shorts and their emblem is a native antelope, the Springbok, which is the national animal of South Africa. The team has been representing South Africa in international Rugby Union since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles touring team. They are currently the reigning World Champions and have won the World Cup on 3 occasions,. The Springboks are equalled with the All Blacks with 3 World Cup wins.
The United States men's national rugby union team represents the United States in men's international rugby union. Nicknamed the Eagles, it is controlled by USA Rugby, the national governing body for the sport of rugby union in the United States. USA Rugby is a member of Rugby Americas North, one of six regional governing bodies under World Rugby. Until rugby returned to Olympic competition, with sevens at the 2016 Rio Games, the United States was the reigning Olympic rugby champion, having defeated the one other competitor in 1920 and the two other competitors at the 1924 Summer Olympics.
John Eales AM is an Australian former rugby union player and the most successful captain in the history of Australian rugby. In 1999, he became one of the first players to win multiple Rugby World Cups.
In sport, a cap is a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of rugby football and association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap.
Rugby union is a football code within Australia with a history of organised competition dating back to 1864. Although traditionally most popular in Australia's rugby football strongholds of New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT, it is played throughout the nation.
Rugby World Cup records have been accumulating since the first Rugby World Cup tournament was held in 1987.
The Russia national rugby union team, nicknamed Medvedi, represented Russia in men's international rugby union international competitions. The team is administered by the Rugby Union of Russia (RUR). The RUR is considered the official successor union of the Soviet Union by World Rugby and the combined CIS team which played in the early 1990s. Since 1992, the team has played as Russia. Its first test match as Russia was against the Barbarians in Moscow in June 1992 and the country's first test against an official Test nation was against Belgium later that same year.
Nathan Sharpe is a retired professional Australian rugby union player. He began his rugby career at the Queensland Reds in 1999 before joining the newly created Western Force in 2006, where he captained the club until his retirement in 2012. He played 116 test matches for Australia, including 20 as captain. His usual position was lock.
Rugby union in France is a popular team sport. Rugby union was first introduced in the early 1870s by British residents, which makes the country one of the few early exponents of the sport. Elite French clubs participate in the professional domestic club league, the Top 14. Clubs also compete in the European knock-out competition, the European Rugby Champions Cup, which replaced the Heineken Cup from 2014 to 2015.
Adam Ashley-Cooper is a former Australian rugby union player who last played for the LA Giltinis of Major League Rugby (MLR). He has won 121 caps for Australia, the third most of any Australia player. His nickname is "Mr. Versatile". He is currently the senior assistant coach for backs with the LA Giltinis.
Daniel Joseph Vickerman was a professional rugby union player. The 204 cm, 119 kg lock played 63 Tests with the Wallabies, the national team of his adopted country of Australia. After seven seasons with the Wallabies, and having played Super Rugby for the New South Wales Waratahs and ACT Brumbies, Vickerman left his successful international rugby career in 2008. He attended the University of Cambridge, where he read a degree in Land Economy at Hughes Hall. While in England, he played rugby for Cambridge University and Northampton Saints. In 2011, he returned to Australia and played again for the Wallabies, including at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, before he retired from the game.
England A is England's men's second national rugby union team. The team has previously been known by a number of names, such as England B, Emerging England and, most recently, England Saxons. England A play a key role in the development of emerging talent, allowing players to gain experience in an international environment and to show that they have the ability to perform at Test level for the England first team. England A were unbeaten for 13 games until losing to Ireland A, now known as Ireland Wolfhounds, in the 2009 Churchill Cup Final on 21 June 2009.
Lachlan 'Lachie' David Turner is an Australian professional rugby union player who retired at the end of 2018 season. In his usual position of wing. He has a strong kicking game, which allows him to also play at fullback.
Women's international rugby union has a history going back to the late 19th century, but it was not until 1982 that the first international fixture involving women's rugby union took place. The match was organised in connection with the Dutch Rugby Union's 50th anniversary: as part of the celebrations, on June 13, 1982, the French national women's team played the Dutch in Utrecht, Netherlands, with France winning 4–0 in a game that has since been recognised as the first ever women's international rugby union match.
The France women's national rugby union team represents France in women's international rugby union. They played their first international in 1982 against the Netherlands.
The contest between The Wallabies and The Springboks is one of the major rivalries in rugby union.
Rugby union was first introduced into Lebanon both by the mandated French forces, and subsequently by the Lebanese returning from the diaspora. Introduced into many other parts of the Middle East, by the British military in the mid 20th Century, rugby has begun to develop across the Arabian peninsula with the establishment of many national rugby federations and the development of the Dubai Sevens, which has helped generate interest in the sport in Arabic-speaking nations.
Rugby union has a long history in Australia, with the first club being formed in 1863 at Sydney University. Today it holds tier one status with World Rugby and has over 82,000 players nationwide.
Gastón Mieres is a Uruguayan rugby union player who plays for Canadian club Toronto Arrows in Major League Rugby (MLR) and the Uruguay national rugby union team Los Teros as a fullback.
These are men's International Team records in international rugby, updated at the conclusion of the November Internationals window each year.