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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 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