Rugby Union can be confusing to those who are unfamiliar with it. The aim is the same as that of rugby league – to score more points than the other team. The team can score 5 points when they get a try. A further 2 points can be gained for a conversion – kicking the ball between the posts and above the crossbar and a drop kick can earn 3 points. It is also 3 points for a penalty.

There are 15 players on each team – 8 of these are ‘forwards’ and there are 7 ‘backs’. Each team will have a number of reserves and up to 7 could be brought on in each game. As with rugby league, the match lasts for 80 minutes with 2 halves of 40 minutes each. When the game is an international one there is a 10 minute interval at half time. Teams change ends when they come back onto the field. Additional time could be played if there has been any stoppage time.

When the game starts there is a place kick or a drop kick on the halfway line. This is also the restart point for the game if a drop goal or penalty goal is scored. The ball cannot be thrown forward, although it can be kicked forward. It must be passed sideways or backwards only. If there is a forward pass then the other team gets a scrum. If a knock-on occurs and it is considered to be intentional the other team gets a penalty.

In tackles, contact can only be below the shoulder. If a player is tackled to the ground they must release the ball – this is different than in rugby league where the player is permitted to keep hold of the ball. While this is not the full rules, these are the basics and should be useful for those who are watching the game for the first time.