Rugby is a growing sport becoming more popular every year. The game’s been around for more than a century but has really picked up in the last couple of decades. The sport is most popular in the Eastern Hemisphere with the majority of fans living in India.
While rugby is a well-known sport to date, there are a few surprising facts that you may not be aware of yet. So, without further ado, I present to you the five things you didn’t know about rugby!
#1 The Rugby Ball Wasn’t Always Oval
In 1823, when rugby was first invented, the ball was round like a soccer ball. In 1892, the rugby balls were redesigned using hand stitched leather and pig’s bladder.
Even though the intent was to create a stronger round ball, the pig’s bladder naturally takes an oval shape, leaving the ball less than round.
While that may sound disgusting, the bladders were cleaned and cured. You’d be surprised the things you can do with dried organs.
#2 The Maori Haka is a War Dance
If you follow rugby at all, you know the All Blacks. The All Blacks are New Zealand’s primary rugby team and are considered to be the best rugby team in the world to date.
Before each game, the All Blacks perform the Haka, a traditional Maori dance involving a lot of yelling and slapping of body parts. The reason why the Haka looks so epic is that it’s actually a war dance that Maori tribes used to perform before attacking another tribal group.
#3 The All Blacks Aren’t the Olympic Champions for Rugby
Don’t get me wrong; the All Blacks are the most formidable team to this day. However, the last Olympic Games that included rugby was in 1924 at which time a US rugby team won first place.
That being said, New Zealand is clearly far ahead of the US in rugby rankings today and has been for the better part of the last century. How long will they reign supreme? Only time will tell.
#4 Basketball Exists Thanks to Rugby
Sports are seasonal thanks to the weather. Many years ago, a rugby coach wanted the means to keep his team well practiced by making rugby an indoor sport. The result of his plan is what we now call basketball, an entirely separate sport!
#5 The Rugby World Cup Really Gets Around
Not a single country has won the rugby world cup twice in a row in the entire history of competitive rugby. That is, not until 2015 when the All Blacks won for the second time after their victory in 2011. Other than that, victory has bounced around between New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and England.
How many of these facts are new for you? Maybe you’re a rugby fanatic, like me, and you knew them already. Leave a comment below and tell us which facts you knew about. If you have any rare facts of your own, feel free to drop them down there too!