|With Rugby fever grabbing the country, here are some facts about the sport|
1. The game of rugby is said to have been invented at Rugby School in 1823, when William Webb Ellis caught the ball and ran with it in a football game.
2. Webb Ellis went on to win a Blue for cricket at Oxford and became an Anglican clergyman.
3. Rugby balls were originally plum-shaped as they were made from pig bladders of that shape.
4. Originally a try had no value but allowed the attacking team to “try” a kick at goal. If successful it converted a try into a goal, hence the name.
5. If the population of Rugby went to Twickenham there would be more than 11,000 empty seats.
6. The reigning Olympic champions at rugby are the USA. They won in 1924 and it hasn’t been in the Olympics since then…
7. …however, seven-a-side rugby is due to be included at the Rio Olympics next year.
8. The whistle used for the opening match at every World Cup is the one used by Welsh referee Gil Evans for an England-New Zealand match in 1905.
9. The earliest reference to rugby football in the Oxford English Dictionary dates back to 1852.
10. Rugby union only became a professional sport officially in 1995.
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