1800's
1810's

 
  1820's
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category: History & Legends
TIMELINE

From 1870 to 1879

1870

November - an anonymous surgeon writes to 'The Times' complaining that Rugby football is dangerous. The need is felt to form a body to regulate the laws.

The first rugby game in New Zealand is played between Nelson College and Nelson football club on 14 May 1870. The Nelson club won by 2 goals to nil (they played 18-a-side).

1871

26th January, The Rugby Football Union founded in the Pall Mall Restaurant in Regent Street, London to standardize the rules that also removed some of the more violent aspects of the Rugby School game. The practice of hacking and tripping is outlawed.

The first ever international game is played between Scotland and England in Edinburgh on 27 March in front of a crowd of 4000 (Scotland won by one goal and one try to one goal, the teams were 20-a-side and Halves were 50 minutes each). The try was awarded after a 10 minute argument, leading to a famous quote by Dr. HH Almond, the Scottish umpire: "I must say, however, that when an umpire is in doubt, I think he is justified in deciding against the side which makes the most noise. They are probably in the wrong."

1872

The first French rugby club is formed in Le Havre by British residents.

The first club in Germany is formed in Heidelberg.

William Webb Ellis dies a bachelor in Menton, France.

1874

On May 14, Harvard University hosts Montrealís McGill University at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the first recorded rugby game on American soil.

Rugby is first played in Cape town, South Africa.

1875

Rugby is introduced to South Africa by British troops garrisoned in Cape Town. Various clubs formed but Hamilton RFC probably has the strongest claim at being the first, disputed by Villagers RFC.

13 December - Oxford and Cambridge are the first to reduce their teams from 20 to 15-a-side.

1875-6

From 1875 many matches were played as 15-a-side but the alignments varied a good deal. At that time there were ten forwards, two attacking half-backs, and three backs who were largely defensive. A major change was to move up a defensive back to play with the half-backs (this was the first three-quarter).

1876

Players in international teams reduced from twenty to fifteen.

1877

The first fifteen-a-side international match between Ireland and England is played on 5 February at the Oval. England wins by 2 goals and 2 tries to nil.

The Calcutta cup presented to the RFU.

Scotland's HH Johnson is the first to play as a single full-back.

1878

At Cardiff, Wales, they developed a short pass to one of the half backs who would then go charging ahead with the ball. He became known as the flying half back which over time got shortened to the fly half.

The first recorded rugby match under floodlights took place when Broughton played Swinton on 22 October 1878 at Broughton's Yew Street ground in Manchester. Two lights were used suspended from 30 foot poles.

Lansdowne Road, Dublin, held its first international rugby fixture, Ireland vs. England (15-a-side).

1879

The first unions in New Zealand were formed in Canterbury and Wellington.






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CoZania August 2007