Rugby 101

Here is a quick rundown on the basics of rugby.  If you are new to the game or want to know some more of the technical stuff then this information is for you.

Rugby union is a full contact team sport that originated in England in the early 19th century. It is based on running with the ball in hand and is played with an oval-shaped ball on a field up to 100 metres with H-shaped goal posts on each goal line.

The game is divided into two halves of forty minutes each with time off for injuries. Half time is a maximum of 10 minutes. The game starts with a drop kick from the centre of the field.

The aim of the game is to score more points than the opposition. Points can be scored in a number of ways.

  • Try = 5 points
  • Conversion Goal = 2 points
  • Penalty Goal = 3 points
  • Drop Goal = 3 points

There are 15 players in each team with 7 replacements that can be used for injuries and substitutions for any reason.

Players are numbered 1 to 15, with numbers 16 – 22 being used for the replacements.

Players numbered 1 – 8 are called the “forwards” and those with numbers 9 -15 are the “backs”.

The forwards, who are generally bigger, are the players who form the scrum and the lineout while the backs are more “fleet of foot” and are used to run the ball. The diagram shows the typical configuration of players on the field at a scrum situation.

Player positions on the rugby field

Player positions on the rugby field

  1. Loose head Prop
  2. Hooker
  3. Tight head Prop
  4. Lock
  5. Lock
  6. Blind side Flanker
  7. Open side Flanker
  8. No. 8
  9. Scrum half
  10. Fly half
  11. Left Wing
  12. Inside Centre
  13. Outside Centre
  14. Right Wing
  15. Full Back

There is one Referee to control the match and two touch judges to assist with decisions on the touch lines. The touch judges also stand behind the goal posts to judge whether penalty goals and conversions are successful.

Over the coming weeks, I will add more posts on the technical part of the game.  Including;

  • advantage
  • kicking
  • maul
  • ruck
  • scrum