Rugby Union in History

Rugby Union: Rugby World Cup

Events in Sport

  • 1863-10-26 Football Association forms in England, standardizing soccer, splitting with rugby
  • 1871-01-26 Formation of the first Rugby Union at a meeting at Pall Mall restaurant, London, England
  • 1871-03-27 1st international rugby game-Scotland 1, England 0
  • 1878-10-22 The first rugby match under floodlights takes place in Salford, between Broughton and Swinton.
  • 1883-01-04 Ontario Rugby Football Union (forerunner of CFL) forms
  • 1883-01-06 Ontario Rugby Football Union forms
  • 1883-01-16 Quebec Rugby Football Union forms
  • 1884-02-07 Canadian Rugby Football Union forms
  • 1888-10-03 New Zealand Natives, a privately organised and mainly Māori rugby team, plays first game in UK; the first national rugby team to wear the silver fern
  • 1891-12-19 Canadian Rugby Union forms
  • 1892-02-22 Manitoba Rugby Football Union forms
  • 1895-08-29 The formation of the Northern Rugby Union at the George Hotel, Huddersfield, England.
  • 1897-11-24 Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union forms in Kingston
  • 1903-08-15 New Zealand's All Blacks play their first Rugby Test Match against Australia's Wallabies at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney; New Zealand win 22-3
  • 1905-09-02 New Zealand beats Australia 14-3 in cold, wet conditions in the first international Rugby Union match between the countries on New Zealand soil at Tahuna Park in Dunedin
  • 1906-03-14 Calgary City Rugby Football Club forms
  • 1907-09-13 Canadian Interprovincial Rugby Football union (Big Four) forms with Hamilton Tigers, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders & Montreal Foot Ball
  • 1907-10-05 Interprovincial Rugby Football Union plays 1st game (Mtl 17 Tor 8)
  • 1907-10-31 Calgary City Rugby Football Club's 1st game defeating Strathcona Rugby Foot-ball Club 15-0 at Calgary
  • 1907-11-09 Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club 1st game, loses to Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club 26-5 at Edmonton Exhibition Grounds
  • 1908-08-27 Calgary City Rugby Football Club re-organizes as the Tigers
  • 1908-09-29 Calgary Rugby Football Union forms
  • 1908-10-16 Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club re-organizes as Esquimoux
  • 1909-10-02 1st rugby match (Twickenham)
  • 1910-09-13 Regina Rugby Club forms
  • 1910-09-22 Saskatchewan Rugby Football Union forms
  • 1910-10-01 Regina Rugby Club's 1st game, losing to Moose Jaw Tigers, 16-6
  • 1911-10-21 Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Alberta Unions form Western Canada Rugby Football Union
  • 1928-08-25 Tri-City Rugby Football Union forms consisting of Moose Jaw, Regina & Winnipeg
  • 1930-06-10 Winnipeg Rugby Football Club forms
  • 1930-09-13 Winnipeg Rugby Football Club 1st game, loses to St John's Rugby, 7-3
  • 1931-02-28 Canadian Rugby Union adopts the forward pass
  • 1937-04-12 Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft at Rugby, England.
  • 1960-06-25 South Africa beats New Zealand 13-0 in the first rugby test of the series in Johannesburg
  • 1970-02-11 John Lennon pays £1,344 fines for 96 protesting South African rugby team playing in Scotland
  • 1975-06-28 The South African rugby team beats France 33-18 in Pretoria
  • 1976-07-17 21st modern Olympic games opens in Montreal: 25 African teams (later rising to 33 nations) boycott the games due to New Zealand playing rugby in apartheid South Africa
  • 1980-06-28 The South African Springbok rugby team lead by Morné du Plessis beats the British Lions 12-10 in Port Elizabeth to lead 3-0 in the series
  • 1981-07-25 Anti-apartheid protesters in Hamilton, New Zealand, force the cancellation of a rugby test between New Zealand's All Blacks and South Africa’s Springboks by invading the pitch during the game
  • 1981-07-29 Anti-apartheid protesters against the Springbok rugby tour are confronted by police who use batons to stop them marching to South Africa’s Consul in New Zealand

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994-06-28 Jonah Lomu becomes the youngest-ever All Black at 19 yrs 45 days playing rugby for New Zealand against France in Christchurch

Rugby Union Superstar Jonah Lomu
Rugby Union Superstar
Jonah Lomu
  • 2001-09-01 Australian Rugby Union team gives all conquering captain John Eales perfect send off in his final game for the Wallabies with a famous last minute 29-26 win over NZ All Blacks in Sydney
  • 2004-08-15 Bay of Plenty defeat Auckland 33-26 in Rugby Union to win NZ's Ranfurly shield for the first time in the shield's 102 year history and after 28 unsuccessful challenges
  • 2004-11-27 New Zealand's All Blacks thump Six Nations Rugby Union Champions France 45-6 in Paris
  • 2006-11-26 The last international rugby match before demolition of Dublin's famous Lansdowne Road Stadium is Ireland's 61-17 win over the Pacific Islanders
  • 2006-12-31 The final contest at the old Lansdowne Road Stadium in Dublin is a rugby match with Leinster beating Ulster 20-12 in a Celtic League game
  • 2010-05-29 Super Rugby Final: Bulls (Pretoria) successfully defend their title with a 25-17 win over the Stormers (Cape Town) in an all-South African final at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto
  • 2011-07-09 Super Rugby Final: Queensland Reds beat Canterbury Crusaders 18-13 at home at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane for their first SR title
  • 2012-08-04 Super Rugby Final: Chiefs win their first SR title with a 37-6 thrashing of the Sharks (Durban, RSA) at home at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
  • 2013-05-18 RC Toulonnais defeat ASM Clermont Auvergne to win the rugby Heineken Cup final
  • 2013-07-06 British & Irish Lions Rugby Union team thrash Australia 41-16 in Sydney for a 2-1 series win, their first against the Wallabies since 1997
  • 2013-08-03 Super Rugby Final: Chiefs successfully defend title with a 27-22 over ACT Brumbies at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
  • 2014-08-02 Super Rugby Final: NSW Waratahs win their first SR title in a nail-biting 33-32 home effort against the Canterbury Crusaders (NZ) at ANZ Stadium, Sydney
  • 2014-10-04 20th Rugby Championship: Australia beats New Zealand 27-19 to win
  • 2014-12-03 Australian Rugby star David Pocock is arrested after protesting against a coal mine under construction in an Australian national forest
  • 2015-05-02 Toulon win the 2015 European Rugby Champions Cup final at Twickenham
  • 2015-07-04 Super Rugby Final: Otago Highlanders beat Wellington Hurricanes 21-14 in Wellington for their first title
  • 2016-08-06 Super Rugby Final: Wellington Hurricanes win their first SR title with a 20-3 home win over the Lions from Johannesburg at Westpac Stadium
  • 2016-08-08 Australia beats New Zealand 24-17 to win the inaugural women's sevens rugby gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics
  • 2016-08-11 Fiji wins inaugural men's rugby sevens gold medal with a comfortable 43-7 rout of Great Britain at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics
  • 2017-07-08 British Lions tie 15-15 with New Zealand All Blacks in their 3rd rugby match to tie the series
  • 2017-08-05 Super Rugby Final: Canterbury Crusaders (NZ) travel to Johannesburg and beat home side Lions 25-17 at Ellis Park; 8th SR title
  • 2017-09-16 New Zealand All Black rugby team scores record 57-0 against South African Springboks in Auckland
  • 2018-03-17 Ireland win the Six Nations Rugby Union Championship with a grand slam
  • 2018-08-04 Super Rugby Final: Canterbury Crusaders successfully defend title with a 37-18 home win against the Lions from Johannesburg in Christchurch; 9th SR title

Birthdays in Sport

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 151

  • 1806-11-24 William Webb Ellis, credited with the invention of Rugby (d. 1872)
  • 1867-04-13 Sammy Woods, cricket bowler (Aust & England Rugby wing-forward)
  • 1869-08-31 Gregor MacGregor, English cricket wicketkeeper (8 Tests 1890-93) and Scottish rugby union player, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1919)
  • 1893-05-08 Teddy Wakelam, English sports broadcaster and rugby union player (d. 1963)
  • 1900-08-01 Otto Nothling, Australian rugby union player and cricketer (Test for Australia 1928, 52 runs aver 26), born in Witta, Queensland, Australia (d. 1965)
  • 1905-03-20 Jean Galia, French rugby footballer (d. 1949)
  • 1905-04-25 George Nepia, New Zealand rugby player, born in Wairoa, New Zealand (d. 1986)
  • 1908-12-14 Claude Davey, Welsh rugby union footballer
  • 1910-12-18 Eric Tindill, New Zealand rugby, cricket player (international cricket umpire, rugby referee), born in Nelson, New Zealand (d.2010)
  • 1912-07-18 Max Rousié, French rugby footballer, born in Marmande, Lot-et-Garonne, France (d. 1950)
  • 1916-02-17 Alexander Obolensky, Russian prince and famed Rugby Union footballer who played for England.(d. 1940)
  • 1916-07-31 Verdun Scott, NZ cricketer and rugby player, born in Devonport, Auckland (d. 1980)
  • 1916-08-27 Tony Harris, South African cricketer (8 Tests for South Africa 1947-49, 100 runs) and rugby union player (Springbok), born in Kimberley, Cape Province (d. 1993)
  • 1921-02-06 Bob Scott [Robert], Rugby player (All Black, 1946-54), born in Wellington, New Zealand (d. 2012)
  • 1925-06-11 Richard White, New Zealand rugby union player (55 games as an All Black), born in Gisborne, New Zealand (d. 2012)
  • 1929-01-28 Richard Clement Charles Thomas, rugby international/journalist
  • 1931-11-25 Dickie Jeeps, English rugby international/chairman Sports Council
  • 1932-06-05 A R Dawson, rugby player
  • 1934-05-01 Nev MacEwan, New Zealand rugby union #8 (All Blacks 20 caps), born Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1935-07-10 Wilson Whineray, New Zealand All Black rugby player (1957-65), born in Auckland, New Zealand (d. 2012)
  • 1936-06-03 Colin Meads, New Zealand rugby player
  • 1937-02-22 Noel Murphy, British(?) rugby player
  • 1937-09-10 Alun Edward Islwyn Pask, rugby International
  • 1938-08-07 Dewi Lorwerth Ellis Bebb, rugby international/journalist
  • 1938-09-09 Richard Sharpe, English rugby player
  • 1939-01-07 Tom Kierman, British(?) rugby player
  • 1939-06-20 Budge Rogers, British rugby player
  • 1940-06-06 Willie-John McBride, British rugby player, born in Toomebridge, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • 1940-09-29 John Dawes, rugby coach
  • 1943-12-21 Walter Spanghero, French rugby player
  • 1945-01-06 Barry John, Welsh rugby player
  • 1945-02-07 Gerald Davies, British rugby player
  • 1946-10-30 Ian McGeechan, Scottish rugby player
  • 1947-01-29 Michael Mavor, Head Master (Rugby School)
  • 1947-07-24 M Jacques Fouroux, rugby player
  • 1947-09-16 Andy Irvine, rugby player
  • 1948-04-01 J. J. [John James] Williams, Welsh rugby player, born in Nantyffyllon, Wales
  • 1949-09-11 Roger Uttley, English rugby union player, born in Blackpool, England
  • 1950-03-12 Willie Duggan, rugby football player
  • 1951-05-11 Mike Sleman, rugby player
  • 1951-11-24 Graham Price, British rugby player
  • 1952-11-29 Dusty Hare, English rugby player
  • 1956-05-23 Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer
  • 1956-08-16 Dominic Erban, French rugby international player
  • 1957-09-06 Gwyn Evans, Welsh rugby player, born in Maesteg, Wales
  • 1958-02-27 Naas Botha, South African rugby union footballer
  • 1958-08-31 Serge Blanco, French rugby union footballer
  • 1960-02-15 Jock Hobbs [Michael James Bowie Hobbs], chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union and 21 test All Black, born in Christchurch, New Zealand (d. 2012)
  • 1960-05-31 Peter Winterbottom, British rugby player
  • 1961-10-05 David Kirk, New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • 1962-10-21 David Campese, Australian rugby union footballer
  • 1963-02-18 Rob Andrew, English rugby player
  • 1963-06-19 Rory Underwood, English rugby union footballer
  • 1964-07-01 Bernard Laporte, French Rugby Union coach (France 1999-2007), born in Rodez, France
  • 1964-08-16 Nigel Redman, English rugby international player
  • 1966-07-27 Al Charron, Canadian rugby union forward, born in Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1967-01-02 Francois Pienaar, Vereeniging Transvaal (now known as Gauteng Province), South African rugby player and captain of the Springboks
  • 1968-05-20 Waisale Serevi, Fijian rugby union and rugby sevens footballer, born in Suva, Fiji
  • 1968-10-28 Marc Lièvremont, French rugby union footballer and coach
  • 1971-02-20 Joost can der Westhuizen, South African rugby player, born in Pretoria (d. 2017)
  • 1971-06-18 Nigel Owens, Welsh Rugby Referee (Stonewall Sportsperson of the Decade), born in Mynyddcerrig, Carmarthenshire
  • 1972-04-22 Owen Finegan, Australian rugby union footballer
  • 1972-08-10 Lawrence Dallaglio, English rugby union footballer
  • 1972-10-31 Matt Dawson, English rugby union footballer, born in Birkenhead, England
  • 1973-02-27 Mark Taylor, Welsh rugby union footballer
  • 1973-03-26 Matt Burke, Australian rugby player
  • 1973-05-14 Julian White, English rugby union footballer
  • 1973-11-16 Brendan Laney, Scottish rugby player
  • 1974-07-30 Jason Robinson, English dual-code rugby player
  • 1974-08-22 Agustín Pichot, Argentine rugby player, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 1975-01-02 Reuben Thorne, New Zealand rugby union player

Person of interestJonah Lomu

1975-05-12 Jonah Lomu, New Zealand rugby union player and the youngest ever All Black, born in Auckland (d. 2015)

Rugby Union Superstar Jonah Lomu
Rugby Union Superstar
Jonah Lomu
  • 1975-05-20 Mark Zupan, American quadriplegic rugby player
  • 1976-02-12 Christian Cullen, New Zealand rugby union footballer, born in Paraparaumu, New Zealand
  • 1976-02-22 Faan Rautenbach, South African rugby player
  • 1976-07-03 Robert Brian (Bobby) Skinstad, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, youngest ever Springbok rugby captain
  • 1976-08-12 Henry Tuilagi, Samoan rugby player
  • 1976-11-30 Josh Lewsey, English rugby union footballer
  • 1976-12-03 Byron Kelleher, New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • 1976-12-05 Xavier Garbajosa, French rugby union footballer
  • 1977-01-21 Al Baxter, Australian rugby union footballer
  • 1977-01-22 Jono Gibbes, New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • 1977-02-26 Shane Williams, Welsh Rugby Player
  • 1977-04-26 Chris Johnston, Irish rugby player
  • 1977-05-11 Victor Matfield, South African rugby union footballer
  • 1977-08-20 Felipe Contepomi, Argentine rugby player
  • 1977-08-20 Manuel Contepomi, Argentine rugby player
  • 1977-11-28 Greg Somerville, New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • 1977-12-08 Sébastien Chabal, French rugby union footballer
  • 1977-12-13 Peter Stringer, Irish rugby union footballer
  • 1978-03-04 Denis Dallan, Italian rugby union footballer
  • 1978-03-30 Chris Paterson, Scottish rugby player and coach, born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1978-04-03 John Smit, South African rugby player, born in Polokwane, South Africa
  • 1978-04-17 Jason White, Scottish rugby player
  • 1978-07-06 Kevin Senio, New Zealand rugby player
  • 1978-07-18 Shane Horgan, Irish rugby player
  • 1978-08-21 Peter Buxton, English rugby union player, born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
  • 1978-09-05 Chris Jack, New Zealand rugby union footballer (All Blacks), born in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1978-09-14 Ben Cohen, English rugby union footballer
  • 1978-09-21 Doug Howlett, New Zealand rugby union footballer

Weddings in Sport

  • 2005-12-10 Rugby Star Clyde Rathbone (24) weds Carrie-Ann Leeson in South Africa
  • 2005-12-22 "Ospreys" Rugby star Shane Williams (28) weds Gail Lacey at Twyn Church in Garnant, West Wales
  • 2006-01-28 London Broncos rugby football player Craig Gower (27) weds TV personality and model Amanda Flynn (24) in Sydney, Australia

HeartWedding of Interest

2011-07-30 Granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and British equestrian Zara Phillips (30) weds England rugby player Mike Tindall (32) at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland

Daughter of Princess Anne Zara Phillips
Daughter of Princess Anne
Zara Phillips

Deaths in Sport

  • 1919-08-20 Gregor MacGregor, English cricket wicketkeeper (8 Tests 1890-93) and Scottish rugby union player, dies at 49
  • 1934-09-02 James Allan, New Zealand rugby union player All Black, dies at 73
  • 1940-03-29 Alexander Obolensky, Russian prince and famed Rugby Union footballer who played for England.(b. 1916)
  • 1944-08-05 Maurice Turnbull, cricketer (England)/rugby (Wales), dies
  • 1959-06-02 Max Rousié, French rugby footballer, dies in a car crash at 46
  • 1963-07-10 Teddy Wakelam, English sports broadcaster and rugby union player (b. 1893)
  • 1965-09-26 Otto Nothling, Australian rugby union player and cricketer (did next to nothling in Aust), dies at 65
  • 1986-06-27 George Nepia, New Zealand rugby player, dies at 81
  • 1993-01-04 Daniel H Craven, South African rugby coach, dies
  • 1993-03-07 Tony Harris, South African cricketer (8 Tests for South Africa 1947-49, 100 runs) and rugby union player (Springbok), dies at 76
  • 1995-11-02 Alun Edward Islwyn Pask, rugby International, dies at 58
  • 1996-03-14 Dewi Lorwerth Ellis Bebb, rugby international/journalist, dies at 57
  • 1996-09-05 Richard Clement Charles Thomas, rugby intl/journalist, dies at 67
  • 1997-01-01 John Burgess, rugby administrator, dies at 71
  • 1998-04-22 Kitch Christie, South African rugby coach (b. 1940)
  • 1999-01-19 Ivan Francescato, Italian rugby union footballer (b. 1967)
  • 2004-05-11 Mick Doyle, Irish rugby union footballer and coach
  • 2005-01-24 Chalkie White, English rugby union coach (b. 1929)
  • 2006-06-02 Keith Smith, English professional rugby player (b. 1952)
  • 2007-06-26 Joey Sadler, All Black rugby player (b. 1914)
  • 2007-07-22 Jarrod Cunningham New Zealand rugby player (b. 1968)
  • 2007-10-31 Ray Gravell, Welsh rugby union footballer (b. 1951)
  • 2007-11-23 Pat Walsh, New Zealand rugby union footballer (b. 1936)
  • 2008-12-13 John Drake, New Zealand rugby union footballer (b. 1959)
  • 2009-03-22 Leon Walker, Wakefield Wildcats Rugby Player (b. 1988)
  • 2009-04-06 Shawn Mackay, Brumbies rugby player (b. 1982)
  • 2010-01-19 Bill McLaren Scottish rugby commentator (b. 1923)
  • 2010-08-01 Eric Tindill, New Zealand rugby, cricket representative (international cricket umpire, rugby referee), dies at 99
  • 2012-03-10 Richard White, New Zealand rugby union player, dies at 86
  • 2012-03-13 Jock Hobbs [Michael], New Zealand Rugby Union chairman and All Black, dies from leukemia at 52
  • 2012-10-22 Wilson Whineray, New Zealand All Black rugby player (1957-65), dies at 77
  • 2012-11-16 Bob Scott, New Zealand Rugby player, dies at 91
  • 2015-06-05 Jerry Collins, Samoan-born New Zealand rugby player (All Blacks), dies in a car crash at 34

Person of interestJonah Lomu

2015-11-18 Jonah Lomu, New Zealand rugby union player and the youngest ever All Black, dies of a heart attack linked to kidney disease at 40

Rugby Union Superstar Jonah Lomu
Rugby Union Superstar
Jonah Lomu
  • 2017-02-06 Joost can der Westhuizen, South African rugby player, dies of motor neurone disease at 45