SPECIAL EXHIBITION – Rugby and the Olympics


Ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games, the World Rugby Museum is pleased to announce our new special exhibition Rugby and the Olympics.

Rugby and the Olympics explores how Rugby Union played a leading role in the birth of the modern Olympic movement. From Pierre de Coubertin’s formative experiences at Rugby School, to Fiji’s first Olympic gold medal, it will analyse the history of Rugby at the Olympics in the XVs, 7s, men’s and women’s game, culminating in a look ahead to the XXXII Olympiad, which will be held in Tokyo 2020.

The exhibition will not only showcase the major stories surrounding the sport at the Games, it will also highlight key figures in the story of rugby at the Olympics, such as Dan Carroll and Constantin Henriquez de Zubiera. Find out about the introduction of wheelchair rugby into the Paralympic games, the only sport to need a physio and a welder on site!

Rugby and the Olympics opens at the World Rugby Museum on 29th November 2019 and will run until Summer 2020.

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2 Responses to SPECIAL EXHIBITION – Rugby and the Olympics

  1. Lawrence Denis Freitas says:

    If anyone has a good answer as to why, in those years when rugby was played at the Olympics, that more nations didn’t send teams, and real national teams, not some club or county representing a whole nation, as happened in 1900 and 1908, I would really appreciate it!


  2. keithgregson says:

    I have done some work on the only time that cricket was played at the Olympics and it would seem that the short answer is to suspend all modern concepts of the Olympics as a well organised ‘international competition’. Much of the early Olympic activity was not sorted out ( medals etc) until just before the First World War and then ‘rewards’ were given out retrospectively. In the case of cricket in Paris ‘ Angleterre’ ( not Britain/G B/UK) was eventually awarded gold medals and the team that won it was a group of pals from south west England who happened to be on a jolly in Paris at the time. In many respects it wasn’t until Rome in 1960 and the intervention of TV on a big scale that the global aspect of the games really took off. For a tongue in cheek history of the games get a copy of my ‘Bluffer’s Guide to the Olympics’ which is probably still available online somewhere for a handful of coppers.


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