The Rough And Brutal History Of Rugby

By | June 13, 2019

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Rugby match between England and Wales at Blackheath, London, United Kingdom, engraving from The Illustrated London News, No 2751, January 9, 1892. Source: (

One of the best-loved games, particularly in England, is rugby. A cousin of American football, rugby a rougher, tougher sport than soccer. Rugby got its start as a rule-less mob sport for the uneducated masses. Let’s look back at how this game got its start. 

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Rugby started in medieval times. (

Medieval Sport

Back in the medieval era, in the 12th through 16th centuries, a ball game similar to rugby was played between opposing villages. Unlike rugby, football, or soccer, this game had no rules. Each team could have as many players as they wanted and there was no attempt to make the teams even or balances. The only goal of the game was for one team to move a ball made from an inflated animal bladder across the village to a designated point. Players could use any means they wanted to accomplish this…fighting, tripping, stealing the ball. Everything was fair game in this form of mob football.