The legend goes that in 1823 in a small town called Rugby in England a young chap called William Webb Ellis was playing football (Soccer) with his chums and decided to pick the ball up and run with it. Thus the game of Rugby was born.
Image from - http://www.bookofdaystales.com/william-webb-ellis/
Rugby is one of the many things I geek out about. I am HUGE fan. Thanks to my dad I grew up watching Rugby. I played when I was younger and I'm getting back into a ladies team now! There are many many many things I love about rugby. The pride, the passion. The respect shown between players, the Referee and opposing fans. The crazy wackadoodle laws (not rules) of the game which I'm yet to still get a full grip on myself. And let's be honest men rolling in mud in shorts. I am still a woman! Below is a picture of me looking like an utter Rugby nerd with England centre Owen Farrell at Twickenham Stadium. Yes. I fangirled hard.
So this Friday the 18th of September at 8pm the Rugby World Cup kicks off at Twickenham! The home of English Rugby! I am beyond excited and completely riddled with nerves! In order to spread my love of rugby far and wide I am bringing you a Geeks Guide to Rugby. Starting today with an introduction to the World Cup. I will also in the series I shall give you some basic info about the Laws, how the game is played, highlight some players, teams and follow the tournament as it goes on.
Twenty teams have spent the last four years playing games and training hard to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. In alphabetical order they are:
United States of America
The tournament runs the same as other world cups in other sports. The teams are split into pools and all play each other once. The top two team in those groups progress to the Quarter Finals. The winners then compete in the semi final and final. Easy!
All teams are competing to win the coveted William Webb Ellis Cup. Named after the chap credited with inventing the game. Remember him? From the first paragraph? Good! Look isn't it shiny!!!!
Image from - http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/news/63818
The tournament itself is very young with the inaugural tournament hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand in 1987. This was before Rugby Union was a professional sport so the majority of players competing for their country had a day job too!
Defending champions New Zealand are once again favourites to take the trophy home but England have the advantage of home turf. With many of the emerging rugby nations getting stronger each year there is a chance of an big upset. Never underestimate the power of the under dog!
Is your nation represented at the World Cup? Let me know and feature your team on a future post!
If your country isn't represented pick one! Was your Great Grandad Itallian? There is your team! Do you love Anime? Show Japan your support! Are you a Hiddlestoner? Then make like Tom and cheer on the hosts! Let me know who you choose and I'll give you the lowdown!
Do you already love rugby? Then we should be friends! Let me know who you support so we can partake in friendly banter!