Speed dating in rugby

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1883 is also the year of the first rugby sevens tournament, the Melrose Sevens, which is still held annually.Two important overseas tours took place in 1888: a British Isles team visited Australia and New Zealand—although a private venture, it laid the foundations for future British and Irish Lions tours; During the early history of rugby union, a time before commercial air travel, teams from different continents rarely met.One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand.In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line.

Despite the doubtful evidence, the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after Webb Ellis.Historically an amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, making the game openly professional at the highest level for the first time.Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland, and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire.The first officially sanctioned international rugby sevens tournament took place in 1973 at Murrayfield, one of Scotland's biggest stadiums, as part of the Scottish Rugby Union centenary celebrations.In 1987 the first Rugby World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand, and the inaugural winners were New Zealand.

Rugby union was included as an event in the Olympic Games four times during the early 20th century.

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