In the rugby world there are so many curious and fun facts that are worth knowing, since the fan base is growing all around the globe and many public figures like the Windsor Princes William and Harry, former president (and former rugby player) George W. Bush and even the recognized author, J.R.R. Tolkien who played and broke his nose on his days, are truly hardcore fans of the sport. Rugby’s real influence in the South African politics is knowledgeable (and has even been portrayed by Hollywood) and the role of the sport in ending the Apartheid; keep reading to check all kinds of interesting data about the gents’ game.
Football and Rugby Came from The Same Sport
During the 19th century, there were different versions of what, at the time was called football in the colleges of England. According to history, by 1823, The version called Rugby was officially created, named after the institution where this set of rules were originally created and is commonly known to this day. It wasn’t until 1845 that the first regulation was written, after a series of meetings between this and other colleges, giving as a result, the limitation of physical contact and the use of the hands. In fact, in the trophy granted to the winner of the Rugby World Cup can still read the inscription: “The International Rugby Football Board”.
Once, a Guy Lost a Testicle
In one match against France, New Zealand player, Wayne Shelford, was stepped on his crotch. It was brutal, at the point that his scrotum was ripped off and he lost a testicle (and also four teeth on the same move), he asked the medical team to be sewed up, so he could go back to the match. Today he can’t remember a thing, but the Order of the British Empire was granted to him for his services to rugby.
There Could Be a Lot of Dance Before the Match
Some teams have this interesting tradition of representing a tribal war dance before a match in order to instil fear in the hearts of their opponents. The tradition was brought by the New Zealand team, the All Blacks that took a time at the beginning of every match to do their famous Haka and now other teams do likewise, and there are the Sipi Tau from the Tonga national team and the Siva Tau performed by the Samoa national team. Call them crazy, but it works!
You Can be a Rugbier For as Long as Your Body Works
And John Goldman is the walking proof of it. He started his career as professional rugbier at 50 years of age (way past the retirement age for any sport) now he’s 77 and he has played over 400 matches with his team, the Mill Hill RFC. Some of his training methods could be called unorthodox but tackling trees for practice while he walked his dog, seems to work perfectly fine for him. Nothing but respect for this player.