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WORLD RUGBY MUSEUM

 

RUGBY FOOTBALL  -  RUGBY UNION  -  RUGBY LEAGUE

 

Welcome to the World Rugby Museum, an on-line look at the history of Rugby Football and its descendant sports/games. We are in the early stages of developing the museum and at present the majority of our pages relate to the memorabilia in our collection. We are starting our on-line journey of recording the sports with the origins of the various forms of rugby.  To date we have reached the following conclusions relating to the origins of the following codes that can trace their history back to Rugby School. This is a time consuming affair so please bear with us while we record these histories.

 

RUGBY FOOTBALL - A sport played at Rugby School and administered by the pupils of Rugby School between circa 1778 and 1900. The main aim and the only way to win a game of Rugby Football was to score a goal by kicking the ball over the crossbar and between the posts. 

THE ORIGIN OF RUGBY FOOTBALL - A sport believed to have been created by model from a form of Eton Football. In 1778 the new headmaster of Rugby School, Thomas James, an Old Etonian, introduced the complete Eton School education system to Rugby School. This system included rewards for academic achievement which allowed pupils the opportunity for 'play'. This 'play' generally took the form of the sports played at Eton such as Eton Fives, Cricket and a form of Eton Football. We believe that Thomas James and/or James Chartes (his assistant headmaster) showed or advised the boys of Rugby School how to play the Lower College Game played at Eton, or how to play a game with a similar style to this form of Eton Football, circa 1778–1782. At Eton it was the boys who administered the game, invented the rules and made the decisions so once the running of the game was handed over to the Rugby School pupils, it immediately became the game of Rugby Football because it was played in a different location with different personnel to Eton Football. The game at Rugby School, as at Eton was self-regulated by the boys and at some point in time its aim became ‘to score a goal by kicking the ball over the crossbar’. It is this aim, kicking the ball over the bar that set Rugby Football and its descendant sports apart from all others. It is easily recognisable as a different form of 'football' to those played at Eton. The abundance of Elm Trees with their low branches in the Rugby School Close gives us reason to believe that this would have occurred very early on in the evolution of the Rugby School game and that it may even have been the aim at its outset.

RUGBY FOOTBALL RELATED SPORTS - Rugby Football is most likely a descendent of a form of Eton Football. It is the parent sport of Rugby Union (and probably of others too such as Australian Rules Football) It is an ancestor sport of Rugby League (and probably of American and Canadian Football, and possibly others whose origin need to be determined)

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RUGBY UNION - A sport created when the Rugby Football Union was formed on the 26 January 1871 by a group of Old Rugbeians and other footballers playing under the Rugby School Rules. In 1886 an International Board was formed to settle disputes between the other international unions then playing the game. It is possible that some of these unions were still playing under Rugby (School) Football rules. The Rugby Football Union joined this board in 1890 and the International Board adopted the RFU laws thereby uniting the international unions. The sport of Rugby Union has been administered by this organisation ever since. Today the International Board are known as World Rugby. As a descendent sport of Rugby Football, the only aim at the beginning of the sport was to score the most goals by kicking the ball over the crossbar and between the posts. This has been superseded by the team scoring the most points in the game is declared winner.

THE ORIGIN OF RUGBY UNION - Rugby Union is a sport created by design on the 26 January 1871 by a group of Old Rugbeians and other footballers playing under the Rugby School Rules. The initial laws of Rugby Union which differed to those still being played at Rugby School were drawn up by L J Maton soon after the formation of the RFU.

RUGBY UNION RELATED SPORTS - Rugby Union is a direct descendent of Rugby Football and the parent sport of Rugby League (Several other sports need to be investigated to determine their relationship to Rugby Union, these include Association Football, American Football and Canadian Football) 

 

THE ORIGIN OF RUGBY UNION CONFUSION

There is a general confusion which relates to the origin of Rugby Union. This derives from a publication titled "The Origin of Rugby Football" in which a group of Old Rugbeians deliberately mis-represent the origin of the sport. The publication states that that the origin belongs with the William Webb Ellis event in 1823. Our analysis of this origin theory proves that it is impossible that the William Webb Ellis Event in 1823 is the origin of Rugby Union.

CLICK HERE FOR THIS ANALYSIS

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RUGBY LEAGUE - A sport created in 1895 when the Northern Union was founded. Several clubs broke away from the Rugby Football Union, which was the governing body for Rugby Union in England at the time in a row over broken time payments. Today the game is governed by the Rugby League International Federation. 

THE ORIGIN OF RUGBY LEAGUE  - A sport created by separation in August 1895 when several clubs broke away from the Rugby Football Union and founded the Northern Rugby Football Union.

RUGBY LEAGUE RELATED SPORTS - Rugby League is a direct descendent of Rugby Union and Rugby Football is an ancestor. 

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We hope that our museum will grow and it will encompass the facts, statistics, stories and images of the sport. It is an ever expanding encyclopaedia which we will eventually cover all forms of rugby and its descendant sports.  

  

The World Rugby Museum is not confined to the world wide web, we also have partners on the ground displaying our extensive collection of memorabilia. The museum at present is split between two websites, this one and www.rugbyrelics.com , To visit the museum home page at Rugby Relics please CLICK HERE. Please click on the links below for more information on the World Rugby Museum or scroll down to view our exhibits and the items in our collection.

   

 

Latest Additions to the museum collection

    

May 2019 The Blackheath Football Club Rules 1862 - were there 15 or 16 rules ? - CLICK HERE
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Apr 2019 Understanding the Origin & Evolution of Sport - book updates - CLICK HERE
  
Mar 2019 The William Webb Ellis Event 1823 - Is it the Origin of Rugby Union?
Jan 2019 Dougie McMahon - Scottish International Referee
    
Sep 2018 Middlesex Sevens 1926-2011
     
Feb 2018 Oxford v Cambridge programmes
       
Jan 2018 Japan High School Rugby Tournment tickets 3rd January 2018
      
Nov 2017 England v Wales 1940 Services International programme
        
Sep 2017 John Hopkins, Times correspondent & author
   

 

 

Players & Personalities
     
William Webb Ellis

John Billot, Journalist

HJC Brown, British Lions

Bill Clement, Llanelli, Wales, British Lions & WRU Secretary

Ieuan Morlais Evans, WRU President

WJ Hoare (Old Stager), Journalist

Vivian Jenkins, Wales & British Lions

Jack Jones, Wales & British Lions

Bob Porisse, Sale & Yorkshire

Mike Slemen, England & British Lions

JBG Thomas, Journalist

Jim Unwin, England & British Lions

Rhys 'RH' Williams, Wales & British Lions

Wilf Wooller, Wales

 

Clubs

 

Hillhead High School F.P., Scotland

Neath RFC, Wales

 

Exhibitions

 

125th Anniversary of the formation of the Welsh Rugby Union in Neath - 1st March 2006, Gwyn hall, Neath

Development of the Rugby Ball

Development of the Rugby Boot

 

 

Matches

 

Barbarians v New Zealand 1973

England/Wales v Scotland/Ireland 1923

Ireland v Wales 1950

Wales v New Zealand 1905

 

Touring Teams

 

South Africa to British Isles 1906/7

South Africa to New Zealand 1956

Wales to South Africa 1964

 

Exhibits

 

Thumbographs

 

Memorabilia

 

Rugby Committee Ribbons

Rugby Tickets

Rugby Christmas Cards

 

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE MUSEUM HOME PAGE AT RUGBY RELICS

 

 www.world-rugby-museum.com  is supported and hosted by  www.rugbyrelics.com  

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