Category Archives: Uncategorized

RFU150 – The Northern Rugby Football Union

As the Rugby Football Union celebrates its 150th year, we examine six influential governing bodies and their roles in the history and development of Rugby Union since 1871. This time we look at the influence of the rival code.. Continue reading

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RFU150 – World Rugby

As the Rugby Football Union celebrates its 150th year, we examine six influential governing bodies and their roles in the history and development of Rugby Union since 1871. This time we look at World Rugby.. Continue reading

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RFU150 – The Scottish Rugby Union

As the Rugby Football Union celebrates its 150th year, we examine six influential governing bodies and their roles in the history and development of Rugby Union since 1871. This time we summarise the role of the Scottish Rugby Union.. Continue reading

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RFU150 – The Rugby Football Union

It is not known which telegram or conversation among gentlemen led to the birth of international rugby in 1871, but it is clear that polite society was abuzz… Continue reading

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SPECIAL EXHIBITION- The Rugby Football Union at 150

On 26th January 1871 the representatives of twenty-one football clubs met at the Pall Mall restaurant in central London to form the Rugby Football Union. 150 years later this special exhibition will chronicle the colourful history of one of the … Continue reading

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Even Honours- Scotland v New Zealand 1964 and 1983

To defeat the New Zealand All Blacks in an international match has always been a major goal for the four home union countries.  While the English have a comparatively strong record with eight victories in 42 matches, Ireland have won … Continue reading

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Alan Rotherham – the Original Half-Back

When international rugby began in 1871 it was a twenty-a-side game dominated by forward play and protracted scrummaging. In 1877 the number of players was reduced to fifteen. Over the following decade and a half the number of forwards slowly decreased as the number of backs slowly increased and teams discovered the benefits of a more attacking, open game, utilising running and passing backs. This extract from Frank Marshall’s 1892 book ‘Football the Rugby Union Game’ describes this evolution and pays special notice to Alan Rotherham, credited as the innovator behind the development of the half-back role. Continue reading

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and His Passion for Rugby

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invented one of the best loved literary characters in history – Sherlock Holmes…it is interesting to now revisit the tales and uncover his frequent and unmissable references to sport – and in particular, the game of rugby. Continue reading

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“How Newport Won the Springbok’s Head”

When the South Africans came to Britain in 1912, under the captaincy of W. A. Millar, they brought with them a stuffed Springbok’s Head, to be presented to the team who first defeated them.  They had the trophy with them at Newport on October 24th: it went no farther, for they were unexpectedly beaten… Continue reading

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Who was Frederick Whitehead?

Frederick Whitehead (1853-1938) was born in Leamington Spa into a humble family of bricklayers, but his father had a strong interest in painting and set up an art restoration business from the family home… Continue reading

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