30 Apr 2005 04:25:58
Mees Roelofs
rec.sport.rugby.union FAQ: preface and content (part 1/4)

Archive-name: sports/rugby-union-faq/content
Posting-frequency: every 30 days
Last-modified: 15 May 2002

Frequently Asked Questions for rec.sport.rugby.union

This FAQ gives an introduction to rec.sport.rugby.union, as well as Rugby
Union itself. Please take some time to read this FAQ, if you haven't done
this before. This should help you to use RSRU to your best advantage,
without annoying other users.

Table of Contents:
1. Introducing rec.sport.rugby.union
1.1 Charter
1.2 Should I subscribe to rec.sport.rugby.union?
1.3 History
1.4 Posting conventions and netiquette
1.5 How to post into rec.sport.rugby.union
1.6 Language
1.7 Common abbreviations in rec.sport.rugby.union
1.8 About this FAQ
2. Introducing Rugby Union
2.1 History
2.2 Basics
2.3 Players
2.4 Union and League
2.5 National competitions
2.6 International competitions
2.7 Current Holders
2.8 Q & A
3. Rugby Union on the Internet
3.1 Governing Bodies
3.2 The Laws of the Game
3.3 Coaching sites
3.4 Other webpages
3.5 Where to follow matches live on the Internet
3.6 Mailinglists
3.7 Other newsgroups
3.8 How to obtain a copy of this FAQ

RSRU FAQ (c) 2000-2003 M.M. Roelofs, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

30 Apr 2005 04:25:58
Mees Roelofs
rec.sport.rugby.union FAQ: introducing rsru (part 2/4)

Archive-name: sports/rugby-union-faq/intro-rsru
Posting-frequency: every 30 days
Last-modified: 15 December 2002 (changes marked **)

Introducing rec.sport.rugby.union

1.1 Charter

Discussion on all aspects of Rugby Union worldwide. This includes the day
to day happenings in the sport, discussion of results and transfers, rule
amendments etc.

1.2 Should I subscribe to rec.sport.rugby.union?

If you have an interest in Rugby Union worldwide, this is the group for
you. If you're merely interested in Rugby League, you could try
rec.sport.rugby.league. There is also a number of local newsgroups, for
those interested in Rugby Union in a single country.

Rec.sport.rugby.union is an unmoderated newsgroup. This means anyone can
join the discussion without having to gain expressed permission. However,
please restrict your articles to the subject of Rugby Union.

1.3 History

Rec.sport.rugby.union (usually abbreviated to RSRU) was created along with
rec.sport.rugby.league, thereby ending the existence of the general Rugby
newsgroup rec.sport.rugby, which itself dated back to January 1991. This
was done to end long running flamewars between fans of the two codes. The
RFD for the two old groups to be split was eventually submitted by Paul
McNally on 24 July 1995. The proposal to create rec.sport.rugby.union was
approved by the great majority of voters (177 - 27), resulting in the
control message to be posted on 19 September 1995. See
for the complete breakdown.

1.4 Posting conventions and netiquette

1.4.1 Do not post the score of a game in the subject of a posting. Many
subscribers only get to see the games delayed and don't want to know the
score before having seen the game themselves. If your posting contains a
result, add the suffix [spoiler] or [result] in the subject.

1.4.2 If you are making a reply to one point in a long post, please delete
those parts of the post that are not relevant to your comments. If you
wish, you can replace the removed comments with </snip >. Virtually
everybody using a dial-up connection pays more to receive large posts, so
be considerate. If the subject changes as a result please re-edit the
subject header.

1.4.3 Try to keep your discussion to the subject of Rugby Union. If your
discussion moves away from the subject of Rugby Union or gets personal
please try to continue it by e-mail.

1.4.4 Please keep your signature short (preferably 4 lines or less) and put
a sig-separator (--) in the line above the sig itself, as this enables most
newsreaders to automatically slice off the signature upon reply.

1.4.5 Please try to avoid starting flame wars, especially along the lines
of "my team's better than your team", or "your team is boring". If you must
make sweeping statements, please try to justify them. If you mean something
in jest, please use a smiley ;-) In general, try not to be deliberately
offensive to anyone and think about what you have said before you post.
Please try to avoid topics that have been discussed over and over again.
Some of them include 'NH rugby is 10 man and boring', 'RU is a better game
than RL', 'SH rugby is all froth and no substance', 'The English press are
arrogant', 'NH/SH refereeing', 'Creatine', 'Pacific Islanders in the All
Blacks', 'Any S12/NPC side would beat any European side by at least 40
points' and worst of all 'Food poisoning accusations at the 1995 RWC Final'.

1.4.6 Please do not post entirely in capitals as this will annoy a large
group of people whose eyesight you have hurt. Besides, writing in capitals
is considered yelling, which has little or no place in a well-behaving
newsgroup like RSRU.

1.4.7 Crossposting to other newsgroups is encouraged, but only when the
topic of your posting overlaps. Therefore you should see the charters of
the newsgroups you're posting into. Long flamewars between any two codes,
whether it is towards Rugby League, American Football or Aussie Rules, are
to be avoided. Please do not reply to any post sent to a large number of

1.4.8 Do not judge people by extension of an e-mail address. A .au suffix
does not necessarily mean a person is Australian. A number of subscribers
to rec.sport.rugby.union live in exile and aren't amused at all when
wrongly being called Australian, Pom, Yank or whatever. Also, be aware that
a .uk suffix means more than England alone.

1.4.9 If a thread you're starting up covers one specific area of Rugby, you
might want to indicate this in the subject header by including a prefix
tag, ie [S12] Round 5 results, [6Ns] Italy vs France preview. This flagging
makes it easier to use kill- and watchfilters in one's news reader.

1.4.10 (aka Rule 23) The only way to avoid accusations of whinging is to
say nothing beyond congratulating the other team.

1.4.11 (aka Official RSRU John Hill's Law) A poster automatically loses the
argument should he resort to personal abuse, racism / fascism / nazism
accusations or to criticising spelling or grammar.

1.5 How to post into rec.sport.rugby.union

If you regularly use newsgroups on Usenet you should have no problems
posting to the group. If you are unfamiliar with Usenet then please read
the appropriate documentation for more information. The FAQ Consortium
offers a series of Usenet Primers on http://www.faqs.org/usenet.If this
does not make things clear, the group news.newusers.questions is frequented
by experienced Usenet users who offer help and suggestions on netiquette.
Its official homepage (http://vancouver-webpages.com/nnq)is an excellent
starting place when you're new on Usenet.

Rec.sport.rugby.union is a non-binaries newsgroup. Posting attachments,
other than pgp-encrypted signatures, is not allowed and could lead to
sanctions imposed upon the offender. If you want to
share binaries, upload them to your website or post them into a binaries
newsgroup like alt.binaries.pictures.sports, then post a pointer into RSRU.

Make sure your newsreader is set not to post messages as html into the
group, as this will annoy many subscribers not using Netscape or Outlook.

Promoting anything related to Rugby Union is OK, but please be moderate in
your posting frequency. There is no need at all to tell us about your Rugby
tournament three times a week. Make sure you post your message only once
(it might take some time for your message to appear on the news-server).
Don't post test-messages into rec.sport.rugby.union and use misc.test
instead. That group is "read" by several computers all over the world that
will send you e-mail to confirm your post was successful.

The nature of this newsgroup means that people are going to have strong
opinions about various topics. Reaction to these opinions is the entire
lifeblood of this newsgroup. However, postings that merely tell someone
that he is a "@#%$er" are not postings that refer to Rugby Union and
therefore inappropriate for rec.sport.rugby.union. In other words: if your
posting is a flame about Rugby Union, fine, it belongs here. A flame about
a person does not.

And talking about flames: there are always going to be a few idiots in the
newsgroup, abusing everybody and everything, refusing to have a decent
discussion. This is not the place to give a personal list of RSRU-idiots,
but the advise is: be the smarter of the two and just ignore or killfile
the tosser instead of starting up a needless flamewar. The general rule in
any newsgroup: self-censorship would be *APPRECIATED*.

1.6 Language

No rule on the language to use on rec.sport.rugby.union has been set out in
the group charter. However, there is some sort of convention that posting
in any language should be allowed, because RSRU aims to be a forum for
Rugby Union fans worldwide. Unfortunately, there are always going to be a
few reactions to a non-English posting that one must speak English in an
English group. It is hereby made clear that this is not mandatory and that
everyone may basically post in his own language. Still, this is a
discussion group, so you might want to write in a language actually
understood by a few of us, in order to get the discussion going.

Please be aware that, despite Rugby being a sport mainly for native
speakers of English, some subscribers to the group don't speak English as
well as you do. Please accept this. After all, according to the Official
RSRU John Hill's Law, flaming a poster for poor spelling and/or grammar
means you've lost the argument.

If you're not sure of your spelling yourself, you could add the suffix
(sp?) to the word you're not sure about.

** 1.7 Common abbreviations on rec.sport.rugby.union

3Ns - Tri Nations
6Ns - Six Nations
ABs - All Blacks
CC - Currie Cup (South Africa)
ENC - European Nations Cup
FIRA - Federation Internationale de Rugby Amateur
IC - Inside centre
ICC - Independent citing commissioner
IR(F)B - International Rugby (Football) Board
LH - Loosehead Prop
MOM - Man of the match
NH - Northern Hemisphere (also: North Harbour)
NPC - National Provincial Championship (New Zealand)
NZ - New Zealand
OC - Outside centre
RL - Rugby League
RS - Ranfurly Shield
RSRU - rec.sport.rugby.union
RU - Rugby Union
RWC - Rugby World Cup
S12 - Super Twelve
SA - South Africa (might also be: South Australia)
SANZAR - South Africa, New Zealand, Australia Rugby. Can be the governing
body for S12 and 3Ns, as well as the three nations itself.
SH - Southern Hemisphere
TH - Tighthead Prop
TJ - Touch Judge
TMO - Television Match Official
UIOLI - Use it or lose it
ZP - Zurich Premiership (England)

Acronym Finder (http://www.acronymfinder.com)should help you looking up
acronyms that are not related to Rugby.

1.8 About this FAQ

In the early days of RSRU there was a FAQ, which was maintained by Rhodri
Howell. This, however, was incomplete and had not been posted for several
years, when Mees Roelofs offered to make a new one in December 1999. After
a few beta versions and lots of feedback, the first finalised version was
posted on 1 February 2000. On 30 January 2001 the FAQ gained approval for
posting to *.answers newsgroups.

The status of FAQs is being discussed regularly in all sorts of fora. In my
view, a FAQ is little more than a posting that is being made regularly. The
statements made here are mine; the reason RSRU regulars refer to the FAQ
occasionally is that they share these views, not in the last place because
many of them have helped creating and maintaining the FAQ. Bottom line: the
FAQ is not law, the FAQ is not official, its information is not official
and a group convention is a convention not because the FAQ says so, but
because it is felt so by the readers of the group. In fact, you might want
to go and create your own FAQ and get it approved.

If you have a suggestion for the FAQ, please post it into the group first.
However, if I've neglected to update things in section 2.7 (Current
Holders), just notify me.

You're free to publish this FAQ on your own website. It can be freely
stored or distributed for non-commercial use as long as it is not changed,
and the copyright notices attached to it are left intact. Conversion into
HTML is allowed. However, you must make sure that the FAQ on your website
is up to date. The information in this FAQ is provided "as is"; I do not
accept any responsibility for the content of websites this document links to.

Finally, credits go out to Mike Amm, Paul Bickerstaff, Don Black, Greig
Blanchett, Myk Cameron, Jason Cormier, Ian Daley, Pete Devlin, Stephen
Doyle, Andrew Forsyth, David Gallagher, John Hill, Tom Hodgson, Rhodri
Howell, Tom Joyce, Declan Kealy, Paul Kendall, Klaus Mahlmann, Charlie
Pearce, Henk Scholten, Will Sutton, Bill Taylor, Tom Vavasour and John

RSRU FAQ (c) 2000-2003 M.M. Roelofs, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

30 Apr 2005 04:25:59
Mees Roelofs
rec.sport.rugby.union FAQ: introducing Rugby Union (part 3/4)

Archive-name: sports/rugby-union-faq/rugby-union
Posting-frequency: every 30 days
Last-modified: 16 April 2005 (changes marked **)

Introducing Rugby Union

2.1 History

You might want to see the match played in 'Asterix chez les Britons', where
Obelix shows some French Flair and decides to start playing the game back
home, as the first recorded Rugby match. You might also want to prefer one
of the medieval football codes looking like Rugby. Despite all that, the
origins of Rugby Union are usually laid at Rugby School in Rugby, England.
It was there, that William Webb Ellis allegedly picked up the ball and
started to run with it, in disregard for the rules of football as played in
his time, thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game.

The Webb Ellis story itself is known to be a myth, but the game did spread
from Rugby School from the 1820s on. From Rugby it went to other Public
Schools and Universities in Britain and from the Home Nations the game
spread throughout the British Commonwealth. Rugby made it to France in
1872, but only really gained footing in the 1880s, when the French elite
started seeing Rugby as the way to go towards regaining Alsace and
Lorraine. The rules were first codified in the 1870s. Women are known to
play Rugby since 1913.

Over the years, the worth of scores has changed as follows:

Try Con Pen D/G GFM (goal from mark)
until 1891 1 2 2 3 3 points
1891 to 1893 2 3 3 4 4 points
1893 to 1905 3 2 3 4 4 points
1905 to 1948 3 2 3 4 3 points
1948 to 1971 3 2 3 3 3 points
1971 to 1977 4 2 3 3 3 points
1977 to 1992 4 2 3 3 - points
1992 onwards 5 2 3 3 - points

International matches (or tests) have been played since 1880. In 1883 the
basis for the current Six Nations Championship was laid. France joined
founders England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in 1910, but were expelled
between 1931 and 1939. Italy became part of the Championship in 2000. There
was no such championship in the Southern Hemisphere. The three traditional
greats there did meet regularly though. Particularly New Zealand and South
Africa built up an intense rivalry, with test series between the two being
regarded as unofficial World Championships. These days, Australia, New
Zealand and South Africa play for the Tri Nations Championship.

With Rugby not being an Olympic sport, South Africa could play on for quite
some time under the IOC Apartheid ban. Touring sides from and to South
Africa came to an end however in the 1980s. The New Zealand High Court
forbade the 1985 tour to South Africa, after the 1981 Springbok tour to New
Zealand had ended in riots all over the nation. England in 1984 was the
last nation to play South Africa until 1992, when Apartheid was over. In
the meantime, the Boks had to do with unofficial touring parties, such as
NZ Cavaliers, South America and World XV.

The first World Cup was held in 1987. The World champions receive the Webb
Ellis Trophy, which is also known as 'Bill'.

Host Winner Finalist
1987 Aus/NZ New Zealand France
1991 England Australia England
1995 South Africa South Africa New Zealand
1999 Wales Australia France
2003 Australia England Australia
2007 France

Until 1995, Rugby was officially an amateur sport. Only then the game was
finally declared 'open', thereby ending ages of illegal payments.

2.2 Basics

Rugby Union is a contact sport, played on a field of about 100x70 meters. A
team has 15 players in it, as well as up to seven substitutes. Each player
has his own tasks. Its most distinctive feature is the backward pass, since
the ball may not be passed forward. Sounds bloody simple, doesn't it?
Forget it. Discussions on what exactly constitutes a forward pass are
regular in RSRU. Ian Daley's breakdown of the discussion has been archived
on http://pino.faithweb.com/rsru/forward.html.Means of progressing towards
the other team's in goal-area are passing, running with ball in hand and
kicking the ball forward.

The primary objective in Rugby is to have more points than your opponent at
the end of the match. A try, the grounding of the ball in the opponent's
in-goal area (which is a zone at either end of the field), is worth 5
points and earns the team a conversion attempt, a kick at the posts from a
place in line with the point, where the try was made. A successful attempt
is worth another 2 points. A penalty try can be awarded by the referee,
when a defender illegally prevents a probable try to be made. In that case,
the conversion attempt is taken right in front of the posts.

Other ways of scoring are the drop goal and the penalty goal. The latter is
made when a team kicks a penalty, which is awarded after a deliberate foul,
between the posts and over the cross bar. A drop goal is a dropped kick
from open play that goes between the posts and over the cross bar. Both are
worth three points.

Much of Rugby Union revolves around setpieces, like the scrum and the
line-out. If you want to win a game, you should get these basics right and
win them on your own put-in or throw.

A match is made up of two halves of 40 minutes each. Injury time is added
to both halves. The time is not stopped when the ball goes out of play
(basketball and Aussie Rules style). If the scores are level after eighty
minutes, no extra time is added. The match result will be a draw, except in
some knock-out tournaments.

The IRB has drafted a Charter, which lays down the principles of the game
in a much more abstract way. John Hill's posting of the document has been
archived on http://pino.faithweb.com/rsru/charter.html.

2.3 The players

A team is made up out of 15 players, who all have fixed, different tasks.
By definition, the teams will therefore play the same formation, with only
some slight variations in use. Rugby therefore is different to for instance
soccer with its endless number of 'playing systems' (4-3-3, 3-5-2 etc.) or
cricket, where a player may be moved to a completely different position on
the field (ie from silly point to gully).

A player's tasks are made clear by the number he wears, as this indicates
his position (unless he's a substitute or has switched position during the
match). This means a player does not get a personal number for his entire
career, as you tend to see in most American sports. The IRB has laid down a
numbering scheme for international matches, which is commonly adopted by
other teams as well.

1 Loosehead prop
2 Hooker
3 Tighthead prop
4 Left lock (or second row)
5 Right lock (or second row)
6 Blindside flanker (or breakaway, or wing forward)
7 Openside flanker (or breakaway, or wing forward)
8 Number eight (or breakaway, or lock)
9 Scrum half (or halfback)
10 Fly half (or standoff, or outside half, or 1st 5/8th)
11 Left wing
12 Inside centre (or 2nd 5/8th or left centre)
13 Outside centre (or centre or right centre)
14 Right wing
15 Full back

The players numbered 1 - 8 are called forwards or the pack. They normally
form the scrum, even though this is by no means mandatory. The props and
hooker are called the front row. With the locks they form the tight (or
front) five. The numbers 6 - 8 are called the back row, loose forwards or
loosies. The numbers 9 - 15, those usually not in the scrum, are called the
backs. Numbers 9 and 10 are often referred to as halfbacks, while 11, 13,
and 14 are called three-quarters. In some nations the number 12 is
considered part of them.

As can be seen there is a lot of variation in the names of the positions.
Apparently, the IRB has standardized the names, yet the alternative names
are still as common as ever before. A problem with standardized names is
that the positions themselves are not as standard as they seem at first
sight. For example, there is a slight difference between left and right
centre on the one hand and inside and outside centre on the other hand. One
may play wingers on the open side and the blind side rather than left and
right and you may come across left and right flankers.

Common variations in the numbering are the interchange of 6 and 7
(particularly in South Africa and Argentina) and of 11 and 14. However,
many numbering oddities, such as Bristol and Leicester wearing letters
instead of numbers and Bath not fielding a #13, now belong to the past as a
result of all sorts of standardization directives issued.

There also are regional variations to the way line-ups are listed. Most of
the time, the first player mentioned is actually the number 15. The two
mainstream styles of listing a line-up are 15-9 then 1-8 and 15-1. However,
you may see the centres messed up and the same is often being done to the
back row. In the end, knowledge of the players is required in order to
understand the line-up.

2.4 Union and League

Many flamewars and long discussions have been held on this topic. League
separated itself from Union in 1895 after a dispute over player payments.
League therefore has been 'open' from its very start. The code is
particularly popular in Northern England and Australia. Thirteen players
play in each side, hence its French name 'Rugby a Treize'.

The main difference is that, in League, the scrum is a merely a restart
(instead of a contest) and line-outs don't exist. When a player is tackled,
he is allowed to get back onto his feet and play the ball, while in Union
the ball is going to be contested in a ruck or maul, possibly resulting in
a turnover. In League, however, the ball has to be kicked after the fifth

Much can be said in the favour of either side. The Union fans adore the
somewhat complex rules of their code and regard things like scrums, rucks
and mauls as essential for Rugby. League fans will say these make things
way too complicated and think rucks, mauls and scrums are a waste of time.
They regard Union as the battle for a ball you don't get to see. The RSRU
subscribers obviously have chosen Union, despite some of them following
both codes.

2.5 National Competitions

Argentina: The Argentine Championship is contested between provinces in the
Southern Spring. The top division has eight teams in it and ends up with a
final. Clubs play their matches in provincial competitions, as well as in a
national knock-out competition.

Australia: There is no national club competition in Australia. Instead,
it's local leagues all over. Arguably those in Brisbane and Sydney are the
strongest. The state teams from ACT, NSW and Queensland, where Rugby is
most popular, play for the National Ricoh Championship (or State of the
Union). Six other teams, four of them from non-traditional Rugby states,
are playing for the Australian Rugby Shield.

Canada: The Super League (http://www.rcsl.ca)is a 13-team competition,
held from May to July. Each province also has its own provincial elite
division, with British Columbia and Ontario offering the highest calibre of
play. Rugby is most popular in British Columbia, where it is possible to
play the game all year round.

England: Twelve teams are in England's top division. Clubs play a
home-and-away season from September to April (the Zurich Premiership,
http://www.zurichrugby.co.uk),followed by a play-off between the top three
to decide the Zurich Championship. There is a knock-out competition as
well, called the Powergen Cup. Counties do dispute a competition, which is
of no big importance in most areas. Cornwall among others is an exception
to that.

France: In the first phase of the Top 16 (http://www.lnr.fr)the teams are
divided into two groups of eight. This is followed by a second phase, in
which the eight highest-ranked teams play for semi-final spots and the
bottom eight teams battle against relegation. The championship final, in
which the Bouclier de Brennus is at stake, takes place at the Stade de
France. Development players are given a chance in the Coupe de la Ligue,
with its fixtures planned when the top players are with the national team.

Ireland: Rugby is an all-Ireland sport, which means that the IRFU
represents the entire island, including Northern Ireland. The All Ireland
League is a club competition, running throughout the season. The four
provinces (Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster) play in the Celtic
League in the Autumn and subsequently dispute the Interpro in Spring.

Italy: The Italian Premiership, the Super 10 (http://lire.datasport.it),
runs from September to May. After a home-and-away season, the top four
teams play a knock-out competition to decide the championship.

Japan: Japan's top professional league is called Top-League. It has 12
teams in it and promotion and relegation rules apply. Play-offs are played
after the regular season. There also is a knock-out competition, including
all the nation's clubs.

New Zealand: The National Provincial Championship (NPC) is disputed from
August to October between the 27 provincial Unions of New Zealand. The 10
best teams are in Division I. Along with it runs the Ranfurly Shield
(http://www.ranfurlyshield.com),which is a challenge competition with the
trophy changing hands every time the holder loses a challenge. Whether a
match is a challenge or not depends on a number of complex rules.

Scotland: Scotland has three professional teams: Borders, Edinburgh and
Glasgow. These teams play an interprovincial championship and represent
Scotland in the European Cup and in the Celtic League. The Scottish Cup is
a knock-out competition between the club teams in Scotland. The provinces,
and therefore the major players, are not in it.

South Africa: The Currie Cup is the national championship and is contested
from August until October between the 14 major provinces. During the Super
12, those players not contracted in one of the four franchises are in the
Vodacom Cup. This provincial competition is used to train young players and
to develop black players, as it has a 'black quota' attached to each team.

Wales: Five Welsh teams are in the Celtic League. The other Welsh teams
play in national leagues as well as in a national knock-out competition,
the WRU Challenge Cup.

2.6 International Competitions

2.6.1 Between national teams
African Nations Cup: There are two divisions of international Rugby in
Africa with promotion and relegation rules applying between them. Both are
divided into two regional groups, with the group winners progressing to a
final played at a neutral venue. The current teams in the top flight (the
Super Six) are Tunisia, Morocco and Ivory Coast in the North and Zimbabwe,
Namibia and Madagascar in the South.

European Nations Cup: Six teams play in each division of the ENC with
promotion and relegation rules applying between them. In all, the 24
European nations where Rugby is an amateur sport, play for the ENC.
Georgia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain and the Czech Republic are
currently in Division One, which is sometimes referred to as 'Six Nations
B'. Division One usually uses the same weekends as the Six Nations
Championship; other divisions play throughout the year.

Six Nations: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales play
eachother once, with the home team alternating yearly. The Championship is
played for between February and April.

South American Championship: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay have
been playing for the South American Championship at irregular intervals
(about every four years lately) since 1958. Teams play eachother once in a
round-robin format. Sometimes a number of matches is played at one venue.

Superpowers Cup: China, Japan, Russia and the USA are playing eachother
once a year, the home team alternating yearly. The Cup is to be contested
in mid-year.

Tri Nations: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa meet on a
home-and-away basis in July and August.

World Cup: Held every four years. The quarter finalists of the previous
tournament, as well as the host nation(s) automatically qualify.

2.6.2 Between clubs and provinces
Arabian Gulf League: Teams from Dubai, Muscat, Doha, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and
Bahrain contest the AGL each season. It runs from September through to
April. There is also a Gulf-wide knock out competition each season. These
nations also form an Arabian Gulf Team, which takes part in World Cup

Celtic League: Five Welsh teams, the three Scottish district sides as well
as the four Irish provinces play in the Celtic League. The teams play home
and away between September and May.

European Cup: The European Cup (or Heineken Cup) is the Champions League of
European Rugby and runs from September to May. The top clubs and provinces
from the Six Nations are in it. The 24 teams are spread over six pools. The
six group winners and the two best-placed runners-up advance to the
quarter-final. The team ranked higher after the group stages will have home
advantage. The semi-finals and the final are played at neutral venues.

Parker Pen Challenge / Shield: 32 European teams not in the European Cup,
including some non-professional ones, compete for the Parker Pen Challenge
Cup. This is a knock-out competition with home-and-away matches being
played in every round, except for the final. The 16 teams that lost in
Round 1 will play on for the Parker Pen Shield, which has the same format.
The competition runs from September to May.

Super Twelve: The three professional state sides from Australia, as well as
five 'superprovinces' from New Zealand (made up out of multiple provincial
sides) and four from South Africa play in the Super 12. The teams play
eachother once during regular season. The top four advance to the semi
finals. The team ranked highest after regular season will have home
advantage for both semi final and final. The competition runs from late
February to early June.

2.7 Current Holders

African Nations Cup: South Africa U23
Argentine Provincial Championship: Mendoza
Australian Rugby Shield: Perth Gold
Bledisloe Cup: New Zealand
Bouclier de Brennus: Stade Francais
Calcutta Cup: England
Canadian Super League: Fraser Valley Venom
Celtic League: Neath-Swansea Ospreys
Currie Cup: Blue Bulls (Nth Transvaal)
English Premiership: London Wasps
European Nations Cup: Portugal
European Cup: London Wasps
Irish Interpro: Leinster
Italian Premiership: Benetton Treviso
NPC: Canterbury
Parker Pen Challenge Cup: Harlequins
Parker Pen Shield: Montpellier
Powergen Cup: Leeds Tykes
Ranfurly Shield: Canterbury
RSRU Shield: France
Scottish Interpro: Edinburgh
Six Nations: Wales
South American Championship: Argentina
Super Twelve: ACT Brumbies
Tri Nations: South Africa
Varsity: Oxford
World Cup: England (men), New Zealand (women)
WRU Challenge Cup: Llanelli

2.8 Q & A

Q: What is the RSRU Shield?
A: The RSRU Shield is a virtual competition between national teams, in a
way comparable to the Ranfurly Shield. The first holder was South Africa,
who were awarded the Shield after their World Cup win in 1995. The Shield
changes hands every time the holder loses a Test match. John Williams
deserves credit for the idea, but it was Craig Harris who really got it off
the ground. The complete history of the Shield can be found on

Q: Where can I get tickets for Six Nations matches?
A: Most of the tickets to Six Nations matches are sold to clubs first and
only then to the general public. This makes it very difficult to get
tickets for them. If any tickets are to be sold to the general public, you
should check out the websites of the respective unions for ticketing

Q: Is there a World Ranking?
A: The IRB has an official World Rankings on http://www.irb.com/rankings.

Q: Where can I play Rugby in ... (whatever city)?
A: First, check out the phonebook. You can also ask in the newsgroup.
Consider posting your inquiry into a local newsgroup instead of the global
one. If you're looking for a club in your own country, your local club
could also give loads of information.

Q: Where can I watch this match in ... (whatever city)?
A: English / Irish pubs, as well as local Rugby clubs are always worth a
go, if you don't know where to watch a match. On top of that, a list of
Rugby pubs around the World is being created at
http://pino.faithweb.com/pubs.You can submit your own pub too.

Q: When will Rugby be included at the Olympics?
A: Apparently, negotiations between the IRB and the IOC are on, but there's
no result yet. Rugby Union, in its Sevens variation, is an event at the
Commonwealth Games and this might very well be copied for the Olympics.
Rugby (XV) has been an Olympic event in the past. Bill Taylor once posted a
summary of the history of Rugby at the Olympics. That posting has been
archived on http://pino.faithweb.com/rsru/olympic.html.

Q: How does ... translate in ... (whatever language)?
A: A Rugby glossary has been created at http://pino.faithweb.com/rsru.This
site gives a list of 48 Rugby terms, which can be translated to and from
all languages available. Languages currently available are Afrikaans,
Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Fiji, French, German, Italian, Spanish and

Q: What is the 'Barbarians' team?
A: Other nations have their own Barbarians (or BaaBaas) team and
traditions, but the most notable BaaBaas team is the British Barbarians
(http://www.barbarianfc.co.uk).They are a club formed for fun Rugby and
good fellowship in 1890, not restricted to British players. One uncapped
player is to appear in every match. It used to be a tradition that any tour
to Britain was to be finished with a game against the BaaBaas. These
matches were to be fascinating displays of brilliant running rugby with
loads of tries. Other fixtures include one against the English Champions at
the end of the season and one against Leicester on Boxing Day. However, to
the regret of many fans the Barbarians tradition isn't as it used to be
anymore in the days of professionalism.

Q: What is the Calcutta / Bledisloe Cup?
A: The Bledisloe Cup, named after a British Governor in New Zealand, is at
stake, when Australia plays New Zealand. The team winning the series
(usually of two matches) wins the trophy. In case of a drawn series, the
Cup stays with the winner of the year before. The Calcutta Cup is a trophy,
made from melted down Indian Rupees, donated by old Rugbeians to the RFU.
It is awarded to the winner of the annual England vs. Scotland match.
Neither cup is at stake at the World Cup.

Q: What exactly is the Wooden Spoon?
A: Historically, a wooden spoon was given to the Cambridge math student
with the lowest note. In Rugby, where the Spoon is particularly talked
about in the Six Nations, it has always been a bit unclear what exactly the
Wooden Spoon means. Some reckon a team only gets a Spoon when it loses all
its matches in the Championship, but it is usually thought that the team
ending last, regardless of its number of wins, gets the Spoon. In that
view, losing all matches is called a whitewash.

Q: How about homosexuals in Rugby?
A: Of course homosexuals are playing Rugby as well. Rugby is often regarded
a fine reflection of society, so why would they not? The London-based Kings
Cross Steelers (http://www.kxsrfc.com)is a team with only homo- and
bi-sexuals in it. They happen to be a good drinking team and well worth
considering for a tour (or friendly) match.

** Q: What frequency is the RefLink system broadcasting on?
A: The frequency differs from stadium to stadium, so no unambiguous answer
can be given. However, a broadcasting license is required for any use of
the RefLink system, so you could ask your local radio authority. A listing
for Britain can be found on
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/radiolicensing/rsls/sporting.htm.Odds are
your own portable radio will be able to receive RefLink without any problems.

Q: Who is Stephen Jones?
A: Welsh hack. Curmudgeon. Panders to jingoistic tendencies of current
employers, who are frequently English. Famous for being controversial (for
very small values of famous). Not famous for writing anything worthwhile.
Apparently hates, in decreasing order, the All Blacks, New Zealand, Rugby
League, Super 12, Southern Hemisphere, John O'Neill. Has never heard of
Spiro Zavos. Good source for trollbait on RSRU. Bad source for meaningful

Q: Who is Spiro Zavos?
A: Kiwi hack. Curmudgeon. Panders to jingoistic tendencies of current
employers, who are frequently Australian. Famous for being controversial
(for very small values of famous). Not famous for writing anything
worthwhile. Apparently hates, in decreasing order, the English rugby team,
England, the IRB, the 6 Nations, Northern Hemisphere, Stephen Jones. Wishes
he was Stephen Jones. Good source for trollbait on RSRU. Bad source for
meaningful discussion.

RSRU FAQ (c) 2000-2005 M.M. Roelofs, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

30 Apr 2005 04:25:59
Mees Roelofs
rec.sport.rugby.union FAQ: Rugby Union on the Internet (part 4/4)

Archive-name: sports/rugby-union-faq/internet
Posting-frequency: every 30 days
Last-modified: 08 March 2003 (changes marked **)

Rugby Union on the Internet

3.1 Governing Bodies

3.1.1 International Bodies
IRB - http://www.irb.com
ERC (European Cup and Shield) - http://www.ercrugby.com
FIRA (ENC and more) - http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com
Six Nations - http://www.6nations.net
World Cup 2003 - http://www.rugby2003.com.au

** 3.1.2 National Unions
Arabian Gulf (AGRFU) - http://www.agrfu.com
Argentina (UAR) - http://www.uar.com.ar
Australia (ARU) - http://www.rugby.com.au
Austria (ORU) - http://www.rugby-austria.com
Belgium (FBRB) - http://www.rugby.be
Botswana (BR) - http://www.pu-la.com/rugby.htm
Canada (RugbyCanada) - http://www.rugbycanada.ca
Cayman Islands (CRU) - http://www.caymanrugby.com
Chile (FRC) - http://www.feruchi.cl
Cook Islands (CIRU) - http://www.rugby.co.ck
Croatia (HRS) - http://www.rugby.hr
Czech Republic (CSRU) - http://www.rugby.cz
Denmark (DRU) - http://www.rugby.dk
England (RFU) - http://www.rfu.com
Fiji (FRFU) - http://www.teivovo.com
Finland (SR) - http://www.karuselli.net/rugby
France (FFR) - http://www.ffr.fr
Georgia (GRU) - http://www.georgianlelos.com
Germany (DRV) - http://www.rugby.de
Guam (GRFU) - http://www.rugbyonguam.com
Hong Kong (HKRFU) - http://www.hkrfu.com
Hungary (MRS) - http://www.mrgsz.hu
Ireland (IRFU) - http://www.irishrugby.ie
Italy (FIR) - http://www.federugby.it
Jamaica (JRU) - http://www.jru.org.jm
Japan (JRU) - http://www.rugby-japan.or.jp
Kenya (KRFU) - http://www.kenyarfu.com
Lithuania (RL) - http://www.kaunas.lt/regbis
Luxembourg (FLR) - http://www.rugby.lu
Malaysia (MSRUN) - http://malaysianrugby.s5.com
Mexico (FMR) - http://www.mexrugby.com
Monaco (FMR) - http://www.monaco-rugby.com
Netherlands (NRB) - http://www.rugby.nl
New Zealand (NZRFU) - http://www.nzrugby.co.nz
Niue (NRU) - http://nru.virtualave.net
Norway (NRF) - http://www.rugby.no
Poland (PZR) - http://www.pzrugby.republika.pl
Portugal (FPT) - http://www.fpr.pt
Romania (FRR) - http://www.rugby.ro
Russia (CPP) - http://www.rugby.ru
Samoa (Manu Samoa Rugby) - http://www.manusamoa.com.ws
Scotland (SRU) - http://www.sru.org.uk
Singapore (SRU) - http://www.sru.org.sg
South Africa (SARFU) - http://www.sarugby.com
South Korea (KRU) - http://rugby.sports.or.kr
Spain (FER) - http://www.ferugby.com
Sweden (SRF) - http://www.rugby.se
Switzerland (FSR) - http://www.rugby.ch
Taiwan / Chinese Taipei (TRU) - http://www.rugby.com.tw
Thailand (TRU) - http://www.thairugby.com
Trinidad & Tobago (TTRFU) - http://www.ttrfu.com
Uganda (URFU) - http://www.urfu.org
Ukraine (FPY) - http://www.rugby.org.ua
Uruguay (URU) - http://www.scrum5.com
USA (USA Rugby) - http://www.usarugby.org
Wales (WRU) - http://www.wru.co.uk
Zimbabwe (ZRU) - http://www.zimrugby.com

** 3.2 The Laws of the game

In Dutch - http://members.lycos.nl/NSRS/regelbasis.html
In English - http://www.irb.com/laws_regs
In French - http://perso.wanadoo.fr/rugby/tablesdesmatieres.htm
In German - http://regeln.drvreferees.de
In Italian - http://www.federugby.it
In Portugese - http://www.fpr.pt/FPR_LeisJogo.asp
In Romanian - http://www.rugby.ro
In Spanish - http://rugby.sportec.es

3.3 Coaching sites
ARU - http://www.rugby.com.au/central/gcm.asp?gcmID=130&SectionID=21
BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sportacademy/hi/sa/rugby_union
Coaching Rugby - http://www.coachingrugby.com
IRB - http://www.irb.com/playing/index.cfm
IRFU - http://www.irishrugby.ie/info_coaching.html
NSW RU - http://nswrucoached.rugbynet.com.au/nswrucoached
Rugbycoach - http://www.homestead.com/rugbycoach
Rugby Coaching Notes - http://www.eurekastreet.com/rcn/ahcoach.htm
Rugby Tactics - http://www.rugbytactics.com

3.4 Other Webpages

3.4.1 News
Planet Rugby - http://www.planet-rugby.com
Rugbyheaven - http://www.rugbyheaven.com
Rugby International - http://www.rugbyinternational.net
Le site Rugby - http://www.lesiterugby.com

3.4.2 Sites linking to clubs and personal pages
All Rugby Links - http://www.allrugbylinks.com
English Clubs - http://www.cantrugby.co.uk/Clubsnet/clubs.htm
Scrum.com - http://www.scrum.com/links
The Rugby Links - http://www.geocities.com/therugbylinks

3.5 Where to follow matches live on the Internet

3.5.1 Text feeds
ARU - http://www.rugby.com.au
NZ Zoom - http://fixtures.nzoom.com/livescoring
Planet Rugby - http://live.planet-rugby.com
Rugbyrama - http://www.rugbyrama.com
RugbyVU - http://www.rugbylive.com
Club or union websites may give live updates as well.

3.5.2 Real Audio
BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/rugby
Rugbyrama - http://www.rugbyrama.com
Talksport - http://www.talksport.net
USAP Direct - http://usapdirect.free.fr
Or try finding a local radio station through http://www.live-radio.net

3.5.3 WAP
RugbyVU - http://wap.rugbylive.com

3.6 Mailinglists

3.6.1 Newsletters
BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/dailyemail/sport
Daily Scrum - http://www.scrum.com
Heaven Sent (Rugbyheaven) - http://www.rugbyheaven.com
Italian Rugby - http://www.federugby.it
NZ Rugby - http://www.nzrugby.com/2002/fanzone/inky.asp
Planet Rugby Daily - http://www.planet-rugby.com
RugbyNews (French Rugby) - http://www.planeterugby.net
SA Rugby - http://www.sarugby.net
Six Nations - http://www.6nations.net
Sporting Life - http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyunion/news
Totalrugby (French Rugby) - http://www.totalrugby.com

3.6.2 E-groups
General Rugby - http://wombat.elists.com.au/cgi-bin/info.cgi?rugby
Irish Rugby - http://www.egroups.com/group/irishrugby
Israel Rugby - http://www.egroups.com/group/israel-rugby
Latin American Rugby - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rugby-latam
North American Rugby - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/narugby
Rugbycoach - listserv@listserv.uoguelph.ca (body: subscribe rugbycoach
<your full name >)
Rugby Research - http://www.topica.com/lists/rugbyresearch/?cid=1141
SA Rugby - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sarugby
Tactical Rugby - http://www.egroups.com/group/tacticalrugby
Women's Rugby - womrugby@polbox.com (subject: subscribe)
Worldwide Rugby Forum - http://www.egroups.com/group/worldwideRUGBYforum

3.7 Other Newsgroups

alt.fan.all-blacks - Supporters of the New Zealand All Blacks
bit.listserv.sport.rugby-union.advancement - Moderated discussion on making
Rugby even better
england.sport.rugby-union - Discussion on Rugby Union in England
fj.rec.sports.rugby - Discussion about Rugby in Japanese
free.it.sport.rugby - Discussion about Rugby in Italy
fr.rec.sport.rugby - Discussion on Union and League in France
wales.sport.rugby-union - Discussion on Rugby Union in Wales
za.sport.rugby - Discussion on Rugby in South Africa
rec.sport.rugby.league - General Discussion on Rugby League
aus.sport.rugby-league - Discussion on Rugby League in Australia

Before (cross)posting into one of these groups, make sure you've read the
charter and FAQ of the groups concerned.

3.8 How to obtain a copy of this FAQ

3.8.1 Through the FAQ Consortium
Anonymous FTP: ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/faqs/sports/rugby-union-faq
E-mail: mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu (body: send faqs/sports/rugby-union-faq/*)
Usenet: posted to rec.sport.rugby.union, news.answers and rec.answers
WWW: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/sports/rugby-union-faq

3.8.2 Through websites of RSRU subscribers
Lossiemouth RUFC - http://www.lossiemouth-rufc.co.uk
Planet Pino - http://pino.faithweb.com/rsru
Tigerphilia - http://www.john.williams.dial.pipex.com

RSRU FAQ (c) 2000-2003 M.M. Roelofs, Rotterdam (Netherlands)