Rugby Football Union Formed


Rugby Football Union Formed

Mayfair, London The 26th of January 1871 AD

Some historical facts are almost too perfect. The RFU was formed on January 26 1871 at a meeting at the Pall Mall Restaurant in London’s Regent Street; in 1895 what became the Rugby League was founded at The George Hotel in Huddersfield, opposite the railway station.
The game had developed at Rugby School , though other such establishments played in a similar manner (the Webb Ellis story – picking up the ball and running – is however probably a myth). Clubs formed by former pupils of Rugby had sprung up, again some adapting the rules a little. It was to end this rule incompatibility that the Regent Street meeting was arranged.
Some 21 clubs were represented at the gathering, including Blackheath , Wellington College, Harlequins , Richmond and Guy’s Hospital. Legend has it that a delegate sent by Wasps went to the wrong venue where he only realised his error when too far gone in drink to be able to correct it.
A mutually acceptable set of laws of the game was agreed by June of the same year, though enough of a work in progress obviously existed for the first international to take place in Edinburgh in March, when Scotland beat England by a narrow margin (the referee’s decision in fact, as only conversions then counted and neither the Scots after two tries nor the English after one managed their kicks) – each side fielding 20 players in a game lasting 100 minutes.

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