Rugby can at times be a confusing sport and you might not know why rugby clubs tend to be called RFC.
Why are rugby clubs called RFC? When the game of rugby was first created, it was a version of football, so it was originally called Rugby Football. Early rugby teams called themselves RFC and have stuck with the abbreviation since.
The original story of how rugby was created was that in 1823 William Webb Ellis, a student at Rugby School in Warwickshire picked up the ball and ran with it while they were playing football. While this story may not be completely accurate, Rugby started at Rugby School, with the school setting up the first rules of the games.
When Rugby was created, it was looked at as a variation of football. So when the game was first created, it was called Rugby football. The name was even used when the first rules of rugby were published all the way back in 1846. As the name of the sport began as Rugby Football, teams would call themselves Rugby Football Clubs.
As Rugby can be quite a historical game that s heaped in tradition, teams have stuck with RFC as the game used to be known as Rugby Football. There are a few teams who have dropped the football from their name.
What are the two different types of rugby union?
It may be slightly confusing to see that of one sport, there are two different types. The primary forms of Rugby Union are Rugby Fifteens and Rugby Sevens. The two games are similar but with a few key differences, with the Sevens game developing from the fifteens game, being a slightly faster, less physical version of rugby than the fifteens.
What is the difference between Rugby 15s and Rugby Sevens?
While both of these games are a form of Rugby Union, they have a few key differences which make the games look very different.
1. Number of Players
As it says in the name, Rugby Sevens has seven players from each team on the field at one time, whereas Rugby Fifteens has fifteen players from each team on the pitch at any time, unless there have been some disciplinary issues.
This difference in the number of players also extends to the bench. In Rugby 15s, there are eight players on the bench. Whereas, in sevens rugby, there are only five substitutes o the bench for each team, with some competitions only allowing three of those players to be substituted onto the pitch.
2. Length of the game
As there are a lot more players on the pitch, Rugby Fifteens tends to be a much longer game. Each half in Rugby Fifteens is 40 minutes long, whereas it is only seven minutes long in a game of sevens. Rugby Sevens games are therefore very short and it is why some teams play games much more often than in Rugby 15s.
The extra time rules are also different when it comes to the times. Sevens Rugby is based on a sudden death principle, which means that the first team to score in extra time wins. If no team scores, then the game continues on a five-minute half basis. In Rugby 15s, if the score is tied after 80 minutes, there are two 10-minute periods for extra time and it is not done on a sudden death basis.
3. Different kicking rules
Place kicking is what occurs if a team decides to attempt a penalty kick after they are awarded a penalty, or as a conversion. IN Rugby 15s, when a team scores a try, they get to take a conversion afterwards in line from where the try was scored, which is awarded two points if the kick is successful.
Whereas, in Rugby Sevens, all placekicks are replaced by drop goals, making them much more difficult and it is why fewer points are scored through the boot in Rugby Sevens. The kicking off the restart is also different in the two sports.
In Rugby Sevens, the team that just scored retains possession of the ball and they are the ones who have to restart the game from the halfway line. Whereas, in Rugby 15s the team who just conceded are the ones who have to restart play from a kick from the halfway line.
4. Big Scrum Differences
Considering there are eight players in a Rugby 15s scrum, a Rugby Sevens scrum is always going to be different as they don’t have enough players. In a Rugby 15s scrum, each team is supposed to put eight players into the scrum, with this occasionally changing if one team have players off the pitch because of a yellow or red card.
A Rugby Sevens scrum is made up of only three players from each team, so it is just the front row of the scrum. As there are only three players in the scrum in Sevens Rugby, scrums tend to be contested much less, with Rugby Sevens scrums usually getting the ball out much faster than in Rugby 15s.
5. Rest in between the games
Rugby Sevens is much less physical than Rugby 15s, it tends to be much more about a player’s agility and stamina due to the massive amount of space on the pitch due to having less than half of the players on the pitch as a Rugby 15s game.
As Rugby Sevens games are much less physical and much shorter, the games are played much more often. Seven’s tournaments will usually only last two or three days, with teams playing two to three games per day. Some of the more major tournaments give players slightly more rest, but Rugby 15s players rarely play more than once a week.
6.No Lineout drives
The lineout drive has become one of the biggest attacking tactics in Rugby 15s in the last few years as it is very difficult to stop three or more players moving forward with the ball. You cannot do this in Rugby Sevens as it is not seen as a fair contest for the possession of the ball due to all the bodies in between the opposition and the ball.