Singapore dating union
The code was originally known as "rugby football"; it was not until after the schism in England in 1895, which resulted in the separate code of rugby league, that the sport took on the name "rugby union" to differentiate it from the league game.
By 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, and in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun.
Early exponents of the sport included Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France.
Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Georgia, Madagascar, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Wales.
One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand.
In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line.
Touring international sides would play Test matches against international opponents, including national, club and county sides in the case of Northern Hemisphere rugby, or provincial/state sides in the case of Southern Hemisphere rugby.
Between 19, all three major Southern Hemisphere rugby countries sent their first touring teams to the Northern Hemisphere: New Zealand in 1905, followed by South Africa in 1906 and Australia in 1908.
National club or provincial competitions include the Premiership in England, the Top 14 in France, the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand, the National Rugby Championship in Australia, and the Currie Cup in South Africa.
In 2012, this competition was extended to include Argentina, a country whose impressive performances in international games (especially finishing in third place in the 2007 Rugby World Cup) was deemed to merit inclusion in the competition.
As a result of the expansion to four teams, the tournament was renamed The Rugby Championship.
International matches have taken place since 1871, when the first game took place between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh.
The Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years.