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Ah, England: the birthplace of rugby union, where it all began. Legend states that the game began in 1823 at Rugby School when William Webb Ellis (who the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after), picked up a football and ran with it, creating a brand new sport in the process.
Since England rugby’s humble beginnings, rugby union has flourished in the country and now the sport is among the country’s most popular. In 2003, when the men’s England rugby union team lifted the Rugby World Cup, the sport truly reached the mainstream and players such as Jonny Wilkinson became household names. Today, the men’s England rugby union team is just as popular and players like Owen Farrell and Jonny May are regularly voted as being part of the country’s sporting elite.
The England women’s rugby union team, the Red Roses, represent England on the international stage and regularly bring home international honours. They’ve won the Women’s Rugby World Cup, the Women’s Six Nations Championship and the Women’s European Championship in recent years.
At the domestic level, rugby union is also a thriving sport. The 12-team Gallagher Premiership is the top level of England rugby domestically, and is fully professional. This is followed by the RFU Championship (which was formally National Division One) and National League 1, which is semi-professional. The top six teams from the Premiership also represent England rugby in the Heineken Champions Cup.
According to World Rugby, rugby in England has never been in a stronger position. Now, the country is home to 1,900 rugby union clubs locally and over 170,000 people play rugby at least once a week. Plus, because England rugby is regularly shown by major media outlets, it’s easy to see how the game will continue to grow in the coming years.
Read below to learn more about England rugby, including all the latest news on the men’s England rugby team, the women’s team and the Premiership rugby clubs, among others.
Former All Blacks playmaker Lima Sopoaga confirms move to Top 14 club Lyon
Former All Blacks playmaker Lima Sopoaga will leave Premiership club Wasps to join Top 14 outfit Lyon at the end of the season, the English side announced on Tuesday.
Wasps address speculation linking Martin Gleeson to England and rumours concerning fellow assistants Everard and Munster target Costello
There have been rumours swirling around about Lee Blackett's staff at Wasps, including speculation that Martin Gleeson is wanted by England.
Club legend Trinder heading to France after 13 years with Gloucester
The 31-year-old made his Gloucester debut in 2008, and has scored 46 tries across 172 appearances for the club.