category: History & Legends

From 1900 to 1909

All data used as is from rugbyfootballhistory.com


Rugby played in the Olympic Games in Paris - France win the title. Germany & Moseley Wanderers, GBR share the silver after a round robin.

Cross Keys (Wales) founded.


Abertillery (Wales) and Pontypool (Wales) founded.

The separate Lancashire and Yorkshire competitions of the Northern Rugby Football Union (NRFU) merged, and became the Northern Rugby League (the first time the name Rugby League was used officially (see also 1922).

Here is a report of the 1901 Scotland England International: "At the Rectory Field, Blackheath, on Saturday, the 9th inst., Scotland brought their international contests to a close with a brilliant victory over England by three goals and a try to a try. Within fifteen minutes of the start, some capital work between Fell, Turnbull, and Gillespie ended in the last-named scoring a try, which he easily converted, and ten minutes later the visitors had increased their advantage to 1.5 points. The second score came through Welsh, who, having an opening made for him by Flett, easily outpaced the English backs and ran well round. Again Gillespie converted, and he was also successful with a third place kick, Timm gaining the try after a fine run by Turnbull. Half-way through the second portion of the game Robinson obtained a try for England, Alexander failing to improve, but before the end the English line was crossed for the fourth time-on this occasion by Fell, after a splendid bout of passing; right across the three -quarter line. Gillespie did not improve this try, but at the call of "No side" Scotland won by 18 points to 3."


Canadian team tour England.


New Zealand play their first international with their revolutionary 2-3-2 scrum against Australia, winning 22-3 at the Sidney Cricket ground. On three previous occasions had New Zealand teams ventured to play in Australia (they had won 28 games with just two losses against New South Wales) but this was the first time against a combined Australian team. At this point in time they were not called the all blacks.

The Ranfurly Shield, the challenge trophy for New Zealand's provincial rugby championship, was presented by the Governor to G. H. Dixon, the Earl of Ranfurly for the first time to Auckland who had an unbeaten record at the time. It had to have it's center engraving replaced to show a scene from rugby rather than association football.


In the USA publication of photographs of a harsh American Football game between Swarthmore and Pennsylvania created a stir. President Theodore Roosevelt insisted on reform of the game to lower the brutality with threat of abolishing the game by edict.

England first play France.

Bouncing the ball in from touch and the field goal done away with.

The first New Zealand team was named "The All Blacks" which toured the British Isles and beat Scotland, Ireland and England. In fact in thirty two matches they were only beaten once by Wales on 16th December at Cardiff. During their tour they scored 830 points to 39 with 109 tries to five.


In the USA the forward pass was introduced to the 'American game''. The laws of rugby died and the game of American football evolved further.

In 1906, rugby union enjoyed a growth in popularity in the US, particularly in California, where major universities, including the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford, had withdrawn from football - the "American game" - with concerns about brutality and professionalism.

The break away Northern Union reduce the number of players to 13.


Rugby ground at Twickenham purchased by RFU committee member William Williams. 10 acres of market garden purchased for £5,572 12S 6d. To become known as "Billy's cabbage patch" since the site, was previously used to grow cabbages and other vegetables, along with fruit trees and mushrooms.

First rugby league 'league' was formed, the new Union's rules had diverged from those of Rugby Union, most noticeably in the reduction of players from 15 to 13 and slightly different scoring.


First Australian tour of England and Wales.

When the Australians arrived in England the press were nick-naming them the Rabbits. Now Rabbits had been introduced to Australia by the British and were reaching plague proportions so rather than be named after a pest they spent a day discussing the matter, by which time the English newspapers were beginning to get hundreds of letters suggesting suitable names such as Wallabies, Kangaroos, Kookaburras and Wallaroos. A vote was held on Sept 22nd and it went in favor of "the Wallabies" by just a few votes.

The team spent 9 months touring the United Kingdom, Ireland and North America. The players ages ranged from 20 to 27 years old, height from 5'5" to 6'1" (only 1 player was over 6") and weight from 10 stone to 14 stone (a stone being 16 pounds).

During the tour Syd Middleton was sent off by referee A. O. Jones, in a game against Oxford, after punching an opposing forward in a line out and and became the first Australian national player to leave the field.

The Australians won the Rugby competition in the London Olympics vs. the only other team to compete was Great Britain.

They play 31 matches, winning 25, drawing one and losing five. The Australian team receives three shillings a day for out-of-pocket expenses and Scotland refuse to play the team, claiming that paying them makes them professionals. Scotlandís fears are justified because upon arriving home eleven players were enticed, by the money offered by James Joynton Smith, to join the newly formed Rugby League. The captain for the game against England, Chris McKivat, was paid 200 pounds at a time when weekly wages were about 2 pounds.

G V Portus played for England in 1908

Bedford Athletic founded.


Australia beat England 9 - 3 at Blackheath, London on January 9th. The first German Club Championships were organized.


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CoZania August 2007