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Understanding The History of Rugby’s Popularity

Understanding The History of Rugby’s Popularity


Many people love rugby and follow it eagerly, and with the World Cup going on, this is a great moment to find out more about the history of rugby. Even as you are seated, watching a rugby game and being involved in the rugby league betting activities, you should at least have an idea about how the game came to be and is currently progressing. 

Despite rugby being a popular sport among many people, it is still not the most popular sport on the planet. But did you know that there was a time when the story was different? This article dives into the deep history of rugby to uncover its past. You will also be enlightened about the time rugby was the most popular sport around.

The Origins of Rugby
Histories tell us that the origins of rugby can be traced back to England in the 19th century. This game seems to have evolved from a variety of football games. Every sport has its legends, and when it comes to rugby, legend has it that it was 1823 when William Webb Ellis, a young student, picked up the ball during a football match and simply ran with it. Just like this, rugby was created. This is a bit simplistic, we know, but it is important to know the (at least mythological) origins of the game of rugby.

With the passing of time, rugby began to become a distinct sport. Schools and clubs developed new rules and variations of the game, and finally, in 1871, the game was standardized, which led to the formation of the Rugby Football Union, which was the first to publish a set of official rules.

Some years later, in 1895, the rugby community was split between the Rugby Union and the Rugby League. This split was due to some issues related to the differences between player compensation and amateurism. Because of this, two distinct codes of rugby were created: the ERugby Union, which remained focused on amateurism, and the Rugby League, which compensated players for their participation.

The Diffusion of Rugby
It didn’t take long for the Rugby Union to spread across the British Empire. This game soon became popular in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and France. These nations became very devoted to rugby, and they still maintain this tradition by having extremely strong teams and by keeping these teams active and successful in international competitions.

It was 1930 when, for a brief moment in time, rugby became the most popular sport in the world. So, in a sense, that is correct, but only relatively. The thing is that rugby, because of the British Empire, gained a lot of popularity, but at the same time, many countries were excluded from the spread of this game. This was due to a lack of accessibility and the impossibility of people witnessing games in real life. Also, there was a huge rise in popularity in the love for soccer, which still stands today.

Rugby Today
Rugby is gaining more and more popularity today, thanks to many factors, but most of all, the advent of the internet. Thanks to the internet, people can finally access rugby events and related information through the net, even if rugby is perhaps not as popular where they are geographically located.

Rugby is becoming more popular day by day, and this might change the future of a once niche sport that is nowadays getting millions and millions of followers all over the world. It is important to remember that we can’t take this as a fact, but if history taught us something, it is that the game of rugby managed to become popular in the British Empire, and because of this reason, nothing says that it couldn’t become popular worldwide now that it can be globally accessed and followed.