Rugby or Rugby union is a contact team sport which originated in the initial half of the 19th century in England. It is played between two teams of fifteen players on a rectangular field which on each of its try line has H-shaped goal posts. An oval-shaped ball is used to play it.
Both male and female players of all ages play it. In 2014, it was estimated that over 6 million rugby players exist worldwide.
The governing bodies for Rugby union are World Rugby and the International Rugby Board (IRB). Today these have 18 countries as associate members and 101 as full members.
This historically amateur game was made openly professional in 1995 for the first time. Initially this game spread from Ireland and Great Britain to France, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Wales, Madagascar, New Zealand, Georgia, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa have now adopted rugby as their de facto national sport.
Since 1872, International rugby matches have been conducted. In 1987, the first Rugby World Cup was held. Since then it is being held once in every four years. Annually, The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere and the Six Nations Championship in Europe are held.