Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Globe Trotting: Rugby

Contributed by Emma Booth.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

The US Sports Institute offers many sports in their programs from flag football to lacrosse and basketball, but how much do you know about different sports from across the globe? Each week we will be introducing you to a new sport. This week... Rugby Union!

Rugby Union is a game of crunching tackles and try scoring. It is similar to American football, however the ball must only be passed backwards and there are less stoppages as play flows until the ball goes out of bounds or a penalty is conceded. A rugby team has 15 players and will mainly consist of “forwards”, though confusingly they play in defense, and “backs” who actually play offense. It is the players on the wing whose job it is finish off moves and score the tries as they are commonly very quick and able to dodge out of the way of oncoming tackles.

The seventh Rugby World Cup has been playing out in New Zealand over the past few weeks and out of the 20 teams that competed in this year’s World Cup only two remain. They are France and New Zealand who will meet each other in the final this Sunday 23 October. New Zealand have the home advantage, and are favorites in this match up, however France, although inconsistent during the tournament, may well spring a surprise.

Englishman Johnny Wilkinson holds the record for most number of points in World Cup history, a total of 277. New Zealand talisman Jonah Lomu holds the record for most number of tries in a World Cup at 15. And Jason Leonard of England has played in 22 Rugby World Cup matches over the course of his career.

For more information on the Rugby World Cup, visit

The US Sports Institute offers rugby as a sport specific camp, or part of their famous multi sport camps. To have a go at rugby, please visit and sign up today!

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