World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby's headquarters are in Dublin , Ireland.
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Until the laws of rugby football were made by England as the founder nation. However, following a disputed try in an international between Scotland and England in , letters were exchanged in which England claimed that they made the laws, and the try should stand.
Following the dispute, the home unions of Scotland, Ireland and Wales decided to form an international union whose membership would agree on the standard rules of rugby football. The three nations met in Dublin in , though no formal regulations were agreed upon. England refused to take part in the founding of the IRFB, stating that they should have greater representation, as they had more clubs.
In , the IRFB was faced with the divide between amateurism and professionalism , which was nicknamed the "Great Schism". Following the introduction of working-class men to the game in Northern England, clubs began paying "broken time" payments to players, due to the loss of earnings from playing on a Saturday. The IRFB was warned by all the chief clubs in Lancashire and Yorkshire that any punishment would lead to the clubs seceding from the union. The competing unions' laws of the game diverged almost immediately; the northern body's code eventually became known as rugby league football.
England's seats on the IRFB were reduced from six to four in The three Southern Hemisphere unions were given a second seat each in Additionally, current Council members Argentina, Canada and Italy were granted a second representative and vote. The six regional associations represented on the Council also received an additional vote.
It is thought [ by whom? A year later another meeting took place in Paris, and the Union subsequently voted on the idea. The South African Rugby Board's vote that proved crucial in setting up a tied vote, as they voted in favour, even though they knew they would be excluded due to the sporting boycott because of their apartheid policies. English and Welsh votes then changed, and the vote was won 10 to 6.
As at January , World Rugby has member unions and 17 associated unions. Membership of World Rugby is a four-step process: . Six regional associations, which represent each continent, are affiliated with World Rugby and help to develop the fifteen-a-side game as well as Rugby sevens across the world.
Not all members of the regional associations are members of World Rugby. Below is a list of member and associate unions and their regional associations with the year that they joined World Rugby. Associate unions are in italics. Other unions not affiliated with World Rugby: .
World Rugby's largest members, ranked by number of participants in , are: . The Council considers recommendations of the General Assembly.
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The Council may admit or expel member nations. The Council is also the supreme legislative authority of World Rugby. Most Council decisions require approval of simple majority, but to amend the World Rugby's by-laws, regulations, or the Laws of the Game requires approval of three quarters of the Council.
Prior to , the Council had 28 members. In November , World Rugby announced that they would be adding more unions to the voting council and giving the regional associations two votes each on the council.
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The Executive Committee, in accordance with bye-laws 9. In , as part of the reforms to the World Rugby Council, the Executive Committee was increased to 12 members. A General Assembly of the full membership is convened every two years. He was elected chairman effective on 1 July following the Executive Council vote on 11 May World Rugby have recently [ when?
definition - International Rugby Board
Argentina will also receive additional support to enable it to retain its tier one status. The money, built up from successful World Cups, was released following a report commissioned by World Rugby highlighting the growing disparity between tier one and tier two nations.
The emphasis is on three areas infrastructure, high performance units and cross border competitions. It was announced in April that tier-3 rugby nations Georgia , Portugal , Tunisia and Russia were identified as the key investment nations over the next three years.
The program is designed to increase the competitiveness of international rugby union.
World Rugby organises the Rugby World Cup , which has been held every four years since , the sport's most recognised and most profitable competition. The most recent Rugby World Cup was held in Japan in South Africa defeated England in the final , winning their third title.
It was first held by the IRB in , though tournaments in and were retrospectively recognised in The Women's Rugby World Cup is contested by fewer teams than the men's Cup, with only the and editions featuring more than 12 teams these competitions both had 16 teams, compared to the 20 teams in the men's Rugby World Cup.
The four-year cycle was brought forward by a year to ease congestion in the sport's international calendar. World Rugby also organizes three international sevens tournaments - two annual Sevens Series one for men and one for women , and a quadrennial World Cup.
Held every year, the season-long series takes place over 10 legs, each held in a different country. Both tournaments follow the same principle—points are awarded based on a teams position in each round of the series, and the team with the most points at the end of the Series is crowned champions.
Following the inclusion of rugby sevens into the Olympics, beginning with the —15 series, the series prior to an Olympic event i. When Olympic Qualification is included, the top four teams from both the men's and women's series will qualify for the Olympic Games, and remaining teams will compete in regional competitions for one of the remaining places.
The tournament, which includes both the men's and women's world cup tournaments, was originally due to be discontinued after the inclusion of rugby sevens into the Olympic Programme.
However, it was later decided to retain the tournament, as it involved a significantly larger number of teams than the Olympics would, and to move the tournament so as to create a more even sevens calendar with the major sevens events alternating every two years.
These competitions were created following the merger of under and under representative teams, into an under age group. The sport of rugby union has been played at the Summer Olympics on four occasions, with the last being in The winners, and thus the reigning champions, were the U. Rugby union made one more appearance as a demonstration event but was then removed from the Games.
World Rugby has most recently been very keen to see it return to the Games and is adamant that the sport specifically referring to rugby sevens satisfies every respect of the criteria set out in the Olympic Charter. The main problem for reintroducing the man game to the Olympics is the 7-day turnaround required by World Rugby regulations for players to rest between games.
Since the Olympics only officially run for 16 days, with only slight expansions allowed to accommodate sports such as football, this effectively makes it impossible to conduct a 15s tournament within the current Olympic schedule. This limitation does not apply to sevens, as games last only 14 minutes 20 in championship finals instead of the 80 minutes in the 15s game.
All of the events in the current men's and women's Sevens Series, which feature a minimum of 16 national teams for men and 12 for women, are conducted within a single weekend. World Rugby cites rugby union's global participation, with men playing the game in well over countries and women playing in over 50 as well; the organisation's compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code ; and that a rugby sevens tournament could be and generally is accommodated in one stadium and is relatively inexpensive to play.
The laws of rugby union are controlled by a standing Laws Committee, which is established by the World Rugby Council.
The current chairman of the committee is Bill Beaumont. The official laws of the game are written in English, French, Russian and Spanish. There are variations for under and Sevens rugby. There are 21 regulations in total, these regulations range from definitions, eligibility, advertising, disciplinary, anti-doping and a number of other areas.
World Rugby also approves equipment, which are tested at an Approved Testing House. In , the IRB initiated proposals for variations to the laws, which were formulated and trialled initially at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Further trials were set down for and The law variations aimed to push the balance between defensive and attacking play more in favour of attacking play, and to reduce stoppages for penalties and infringements.
The World Rugby anti doping programme includes testing at the under 19 and under 21 level, sevens and senior 15 a side. Testing is a mix of in-competition at World Rugby organised events, as well as out-of-competition testing, which can occur during a specified one-hour time slot designated by a player.
In , World Cup year, the World Rugby member unions undertook approximately 3, tests.
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The programme is supported by stars such as Brian O'Driscoll. World Rugby publishes and maintains the World Rugby Rankings of the men's national rugby union teams and more recently also for women's teams .
The concept was launched in October , at the start of that year's world cup in Australia. The rankings are calculated using a Points Exchange system, whereby nations take points off each other based on a match result. Several years of research went into developing the rankings system, using an extensive database of international matches that date back to The system's reliability is assessed in a number of objective ways, which includes predictions of current strength and responds to changes in form.
The system takes into account home advantage, in that the home nation is treated as though it has an extra three rating points, effectively handicapping them, as they will gain fewer ranking points for a win, and lose more should they lose. In the case of a freak result, there is a maximum number of movements on the ranking that any nation can gain from one match. If a nation does not play for a number of years they are considered dormant, and excluded from the rankings, upon returning, picking up from where they were excluded.
If a nation is to merge or split, the highest rating of any of the rankings is inherited.
Talk:Comparison of rugby league and rugby union
Currently all capped international matches are equally weighted, whether or not they take place within a competition or are played as tests ; the sole exception to this is the World Cup final tournament. The World Rugby Awards were introduced in , to honour outstanding achievements in rugby union. Prior to , all of the awards were announced at an annual ceremony; the most recent such ceremony was held in London on 23 November However, as a response to the Great Recession , the annual ceremony only saw the International Player, Team, and Coach of the Year Awards presented in and ; all other awards were presented at different times throughout the year.
The bulk of awards will be presented at the year-end Awards ceremony.
At the year-end ceremony, the International Rugby Players' Association also hands out the following awards:. The awards that recognise achievements in the preceding 12 months tend to be won by that season's most successful nation s : France in , England in , South Africa in , New Zealand in , South Africa again in For those award categories that have nominees, a shortlist is drawn up by an independent panel of judges, who are all former internationals.
The panel then reconvenes to choose a winner. The judges have a total of over caps between them. In a Hall of Fame was established to chronicle the achievements and special contribution of the sport's players, coaches, administrators, match officials, institutions and other individuals.