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Rugby Rivalries: No Quarter Given!


Rugby Union football is a game played in 120 countries with around 7.23 million players worldwide. It is a team sport that is as tough as they come. It is a game that encompasses all shapes and sizes of players. It has a rich history. Folklore has it that rugby was spawned from football. When in 1823, during a game of school football, a young pupil named William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran towards the opposition’s goal line. This all took place at Rugby school in the town of Rugby; hence the sport was called rugby. The coveted prize the winners of the World Cup receive is the William Webb trophy.

Since its conception almost two centuries ago, many rivalries have come and gone both at local and international levels. Two in particular spring to mind. Firstly, New Zealand (The All Blacks) and South Africa (The Springboks). Such is the reputation of the New Zealand All Blacks that even if you have never seen a rugby game before, you probably know who the All Blacks are. They have been the dominant team in the world for years. In addition to playing amazingly good rugby and producing some of the best players ever, they are also famous for performing the Haka before the start of each match. The Haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield. The All Blacks use it these days as a challenge to their opponents. It is certainly one of sports’ spine tingling occasions.

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encompass (v) – to include something as a part.
spawn (v) – to cause something to develop or begin.
spine tingling (adj) – very exciting, thrilling or frightening.

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