The sport of rugby is reported to have begun in 1823, at Rugby school. During a football match, a player is said to have ignored the rules, picked the ball up, and ran with it. This story developed and in 1839, a rugby team was created by Arthur Pell at Cambridge University. He developed the original ‘Cambridge Rules’. However, it was not until 1871 that the Rugby Football Union was founded in a London. The same year saw the first international game between Scotland and England take place. Scotland won this particular match. In 1872, the first university match was played between Oxford and Cambridge.

The game grew in popularity and in 1882, the International Championship was formed by England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. However, there was still no formal points system in place, so there were many disputes as this competition went on. In 1888 there was a trip to Australia and New Zealand for a British team, but the tour was marred by the death of Bob Sneddon, the organiser of the tour. He was killed in a rowing accident.

The International Championship expanded to include five nations in 1910 when France joined, but they were later banned for unprofessional conduct. Several years passed before they were able to come back into the competition,. This was partly because of the ban and partly because of WWII.

The first World Cup rugby competition occurred in 1987, and it was hosted in Australia and New Zealand. France and New Zealand made it to the final, and New Zealand won. The second World Cup took place in 1991 and was hosted in the UK, Ireland, and France. Australia won the tournament winner. Since then, the sport has seen its players turn professional and the Five Nations Championship has become the Six Nations Championship with the addition of Italy.