Union: A game that takes balls to play. Gibby is playing it in heaven right now.

If you are part of the pack you fight over the ball every time there is a tackle and make up the entire scrum. Tight (3) or Loose (1), propping always hurts. You get both sides of the scrum squeezing your vertebrae together. 2nd rowers (locks)(4/5) love to grab props nads. Flankers always break off early on the defensive side and make the tackle (6/7). The 8-man is pretty versatile in that he both stops the ball with his feet and does 8-man pickups. He tends to be a large, strong, technically sound player.

The best forward #2- Hooker is an incredibly important and difficult position. They can vary in size from the largest to the smallest player on the team. In every scrum he must either get the ball from the scrumhalf and hook it back with his foot or try to steal it from the other hooker (I love doing that from tighthead). It is the position with the most pressure as well as the most dangerous position if a scrum collapses. (I have had 400 kilos/880 pounds on my neck). Hookers also throw the ball in during lineouts.

If you are a back you can be a pansy and kick it away, be an intelligent back and pass it just as you are tackled, be a manly back and get tackled by a forward who is twice your size, dodge around people and score, or try to imitate Johnny Wilkinson.
There are 7 backs. The Scrumhalf (9) is similar to a quarterback in American Football. It is the scrumhalf's job to toss the ball out at every ruck. They are excellent decision makers. The Flyhalf (10) is usually a good kicker and is the scrumhalf's backup. He is always ready to be the first pass out from the scrumhalf but can be ignored entirely or skipped. The inside and outside centers blend together and are just people who get passed to (12/13). The wingers cover the sides of the field and can also kick.

The best back #15- The Fullback. Possibly the most mentally stressful position. On offense, he melds with the backline and does as much or more than the outside centers.
The last line of defense for the rugby team. Any kick that goes deep into either team's territory will be recovered by the fullback or will be a try. Some fullbacks are more skilled than punt returners in American Football and will break three or four tackles befor going down. If a player breaks a long run and gets passed all the other players, he has a one on one with the fullback. Fullbacks are without question the best tacklers. They never miss.

League: Like union with less players and without rucking, a bit slow. Mainly Aussies (Roosters) and some Kiwis (Warriors)
The fullback caught the ball at the twenty-two and ran it up the touch line to the other twenty-two. As he was tackled he passed the ball to the unmarked hooker who dived in for the try just as five of the other teams players reached him.

The finest game of American (yes that's right, we play too) High School Rugby. Go Lions, beat Xavier
by Flowerman February 26, 2006
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game that only real men play, not like those pussy football players. No pads, rougher tackles, alot more fun.
by Anonymous December 21, 2002
Elegant Violence
Rugby is elegant violence.
by Pippin May 03, 2004
The only sport where 15 guys are sent out to beat the shit out of the other 15 guys. Team with the least concussions wins. There is a point system but don’t tell them that.
by Pro Prop July 08, 2003
Rugby, called "The Game Played in Heaven" by supporters and players alike, comes in two flavours; League and Union.
Leauge is a rapidly moving game with the emphasis on skilful passing and kicking. Tackles are limited; running out of tackles results in the ball changing hands. The game is more glamorous and enjoys plenty of success on TV.
Union is slower but allows for more continuity, with play only stopping if someone stuffs up or goes outside or scores etc. Forwards have a more emphasized role in that they are expected to maintain control of the ball (using brute force) if the ball-carrier is tackled. (<-personal preference)

Both games are brutal and hard-hitting, using very little body armour when stacked up against comparable games like Gridiron, and several deaths have occurred on the field, even at schoolboy level.

Despite the game's obvious merits, some people tend to misconstrue the high-intensity play as being a homosexual act. This can usually be linked to their own (latent or otherwise) homosexual tendencies. Also, the misconception that Rugby is played by 'preppy blokes in private schools' is a fallacy- Rugby can be played by preppy blokes, bogans, drongos, jocks, academics, farmboys, yuppies (i.e everyone- as long as their not wimps or averse to copious amounts of pain).
MATE! How bloody awesome was that game of Rugby?! (insert Beer here)
by StormtrooperDoof October 15, 2003
the origin of american football. no pads, no stopping for time outs. limited substitutions and no pads
Real men play rugby
by Pk April 20, 2003
A ruffian's game played by gentlemen.

Rugby is a fast, skilled, team-oriented game combining the tactical complexity and physical brutality of American football (only without the padding) with the continuity and pace of soccer and the scoring rate of lacrosse.

Unlike many other sports, rugby has succeeded in maintaining as part of its culture respect for both the opponents and the referee. Players are seldom heard to argue with the ref and after the game, both teams and the ref can usually be found drinking and socialising together in the clubhouse.

There are two distinct types of rugby: union and league. They play to separate systems of rules and both have their merits. The split dates back to 1895 when the game was unified and amateur. The sport's governing body (the RFU) refused to allow a number of clubs in the North of England to pay their players (many of whom were miners) for time lost from work in their services to the club. The RFU even threatened to ban the players for life if they were found to have been paid - they saw professionalism as an evil threat to the values of the game (read: the big, poor, burly miners would beat up the rich wimps if they played on a level footing). So the Northern clubs seceded from the Rugby Football Union to form the Rugby Football League and made rules changes to speed the game up.

League is a simpler, faster game than Union. The pitch is the same size as Union, but teams consist of only 13 players, so there is effectively more space. Contest for the ball at the tackle is not permitted - instead a team has only 6 tackles worth of possession before the ball is turned over (a bit like downs in American football, but without stopping after every play). This leads to the tactic of teams kicking the ball upfield after their 5th tackle in order to give their opponents as poor a field position as possible.

Union is a much more complicated game than League. Contest for the ball is permitted and encouraged at every phase of play - tackle, scrum, ruck, maul, line-out, the lot - leading to a greater number of turnovers and hence a more fluid game. There are 15 men on a Union team, so space is more limited, meaning there is less opportunity for individual brilliance and a greater reliance on the team to function as a unit, and consequently more obvious player specialisation.

Personally, I prefer Union, bubt they're both good games.
The rugby team's looking good for promotion this year...
by Loose Cannon December 15, 2004
An awesome game requiring teamwork, fitness and copious amounts of hatred for your fellow humanity. Points are scored by touching the ball down past the opponent's goal line (called a try-worth 5 points), or kicking the ball through the H-shaped goal posts above the crossbar (a conversion or penalty kick, worth 2 and 3 points respectively) Demanding and lots of fun. Union, although slower than League, has less annoying stoppages, and more forwards which can only be a good thing (silly backs, always knocking on the ball and being unappreciative of the hard work we do to win it).
Joe McGeneric: So how was rugby this weekend?
Aggressive McProp: Great. I snapped several vertebrate of the opposition.
Joe: So you won?
Agressive: Nah. But who cares about points?
by Crazy Lock June 07, 2004
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