story goes that Rugby was invented in 1823 at Rugby School when during a game
of football one of the boys, William Webb Ellis, picked up the ball and began
to run with it. This isn't quite what happened.
that time many schools had their own particular rules for the game of football
and at Rugby the rules allowed the ball to be caught if it was airborne. The players
then stood still and the catcher kicked the ball from where he caught the ball.
Instead of standing still, William Webb Ellis caught the ball and ran with it.
This tactic began to be used more often and by the 1840s it had became the norm.
By the 1870s
rugby clubs had sprung up all over England and in the colonies
but different rules were being used by different clubs. In a
bid to resolve this situation, a meeting was held in January
1871, attended by representatives of 22 clubs. It was at this
meeting that the Rugby Football Union was founded.
some time, seven-a-side Rugby was little more than a useful training exercise
in preparation for the traditional game of 15-a-side, but that changed when the
Hong Kong 7s event was set up in 1976 and the establishment of the World Series
has firmly cemented Rugby7's position as a world class sport in its own right.
was introduced at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 at Kuala Lumpur and is expected
to be enthusiastically received in 2002.