Picture this: Forwards from both teams lock arms and put their heads down into the heaving scrum. The scrum-half rolls the ball in between the opposing teams. Deep inside the locked arms, the hooker tries to spin the ball backwards with his feet, as his comrades push back against the opposition in an attempt to snag the ball. The winning side kicks and shimmies the ball back to the rear of the rollicking scrum where it is picked up by the scrum-half, and once again the rugby is under way. What's it all about? It's the wild, rollicking world of International Rugby.
International Rugby events take place through the rugby season at Twickenham Stadium, KC Stadium, John Smith's Stadium, Principality Stadium and other major venues across the UK. Late in the year, the Autumn Rugby Internationals begin, with teams from Italy, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa and more competing along with teams from Wales, England, Scotland and others. The Four Nations tournament, which takes place every two years and was last staged in 2014 will appear again in 2016 and each second year after that. This tournament consists of the top three countries in international rugby, which often include New Zealand, Australia and England. A fourth nation, which rotates between the South Pacific and Europe, is invited after they qualify by capturing a regional competition.
More About International Rugby
Rugby was born in the first half of the 1800s in England. It began an international expansion from the shores of England in the late 1890s, spreading to Australia, Wales and New Zealand in the ensuing years. In 1934, France took up the game. Over the years, it continued to grow and in 1998, the Rugby League International Federation was born. In late 2009, the countries of Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and Fiji combined together to create the Pacific Islands Rugby League Federation. The following year, the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation was formed. Today, the Rugby League International Federation nations include Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, South Africa, Lebanon and Jamaica.
The International Rugby Experience
International Rugby is a fast-moving, tough sport with players who rely on nothing but their athleticism, grit and determination. Instead of a system of downs like in American football, rugby players must release the ball if they are taken down. At that point, any player on either team is allowed to grab it and play it. This style of play creates free-flowing, constant action -- many times, seven to ten minutes of play passes before you hear a whistle. Helmets or any type of rigid protection such as shin pads are not allowed because they are deemed to be potential weapons. Likewise, forward passing and blocking are prohibited. Rugby fans are similar to football fans in their devotion, exuberance and loud support of their favourite teams. Many will stand throughout the match, yelling their advice and displeasure in equal dollops as their players bash away on the field. Games run at most about two hours in length.
More International Rugby Events
If you like the constant action and rough-and-tumble style of experience you receive with your International Rugby tickets, be sure to check out the Four Nations series of matches, or the upcoming matches of a rejuvenated England Rugby Union.
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