Rugby union, often known simply as rugby or union, is one of two variations of the game derived from rugby football, with the name coming from the original governing body, The Rugby Football Union.
The game was officially founded in 1823 with a rugby union team consisting of 15 players.
Although the game is popular in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it's in Wales that rugby union has become the national sport.
Rugby union clubs can be found throughout the country with the major club leagues being split into several divisions and regions. Women's rugby union is also popular, as is rugby union played in schools.
The sport is now governed by the International Rugby Board who also publish the rules and laws of rugby union. Its popularity has spread so far that the board now has 96 full members ranging from Fiji and Tonga to New Zealand and Argentina.
Here in Europe one often hears of "the six nations" mentioned in connection with rugby union, especially the Six Nations Championship. The six nations are England, Wales, Italy, Ireland, France and Scotland, all of which belong to the Northern Hemisphere.
Each member country has a plethora of rugby union clubs and with four of them being part of the UK, a huge percentage of the six nations clubs can be found linked from this site along with a collection of amateur rugby union clubs.
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