Basics of Rugby Union

Basics of Rugby Union

Rugby Union is a fifteen aside full contact sport.

The team is divided into two divisions.

The Back and the Forwards.

The Backs in Rugby Union

  • 15 Fullback
  • 14 Winger
  • 13 Centre
  • 12 Centre
  • 11 Winger
  • 10 Fly half
  • 9 Scrum half

The Forwards in Rugby Union

  • 1 Prop
  • 2 Hooker
  • 3 Prop
  • 4 Second row
  • 5 Second row
  • 6 Flanker
  • 8 No.8
  • 7 Flanker

The Object of the Attack in Rugby Union

The object of the game is to place the ball over the oppositions try line. This scores five points and wins the chance to ‘convert’ the try with an unopposed kick at goal for a further two points. The ball must travel between the goal’s uprights and over the cross bar.

Three points may be awarded for a successful penalty goal or for a ‘drop goal’ which is scored during open play by dropping the ball and kicking it off the ground.

The ball may be moved towards the opposition try line by running forward with the ball, evading or fending off defenders. The ball may be passed to a team mate but the pass must travel backwards from the ball carrier. The ball can also be punted up field by any player at any time to gain field position.

The Object of the Defence in Rugby Union

Defence has been described as ‘the only thing you can do when you don’t have the ball’. It is the job of the defence to prevent the attacking team winning field position or scoring. This is done by means of a tackle. Only the ball carrier can be tackled. He can be tackled by any number of defenders. Once the tackled player is tackled to the ground the tackle is said to be complete and he must release the ball. The first player at the tackle area may then attempt to take the ball. Play will then continue with no restart required.

A Simple Game

Rugby is often described as a simple game and in principle it is but the myriad laws – over 80 for the restart at a line out alone- can make it one of the most complicated games for a new spectator to access initially. It is a little esoteric in its appeal but it is the most exciting sport on earth. The game of union encapsulates almost every sport ever played. Players must be able to kick a ball, catch that ball, throw accurately, run, jump and wrestle and all this must be done at speed with skill and power.