Rugby Union Tips, Previews & Predictions

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Rugby Union

Rugby union is a popular global sport played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014 it was estimated more than 6 million people played rugby union worldwide with more than 2 million registered players.

World Rugby is the governing body for rugby union with more than 100 countries as full members. It is one of the two codes of rugby football alongside rugby league, with both codes based on running with the ball in hand. 

Rugby union features two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball. The game is played on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts that are used for kicking goals and field goals.

Rugby union originated in England alongside football around 1823. The first rules and laws of the game were written in 1845 and originally known as rugby football. International rugby union matches have taken place since 1871 when Scotland took on England in Edinburgh. 

In 1895 there was a split between rugby union and rugby league and the game of rugby union spread throughout the British Empire.
Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France have a strong affiliation with rugby union and it is an important national in countries such as Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Georgia and Madagascar.

Rugby union has influenced the formation of other sports including American football and Australian Rules. James Naismith, the man who invented basketball, played rugby at McGill University.

The Rugby World Cup was first held in 1987 in Australia and New Zealand and takes place every four years. The first World Cup Sevens tournament was held in 1993 with the Rugby Sevens introduced into the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and added to the Olympic Games since 2016.

Rugby union was an amateur sport until after the 1995 World Cup when payments to players were not restricted and the game became professional. 

The major annual international tournaments include the Six Nations Championship in Europe between England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere is contested by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.

Transnational club competitions include Super Rugby in the Southern Hemisphere and Japan, Pro14 in Europe and South Africa, and the European Rugby Champions Cup solely in Europe.

Club competitions include the English Premiership, French Top 14, Australian Rugby Championship, New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup and South African Currie Cup. 

Betting On Rugby Union

There are many ways to bet on a game of rugby union. One thing to remember is that some bookmakers include extra time and some do not, so it pays to do your homework. 

There is a tiny chance of a draw if the scores are still tied after extra time, but it doesn’t happen often enough to warrant consideration. Here are some of the most common types of betting markets: 

Head to Head: Also known as the win market, simply select which team you think will win the game. 

Line: The line in rubgy union is simply a handicap. If the line is set at -9.5 against your team, they must win by 10 points or more for your bet to cash. Alternatively, if the line is +9.5 for your selected team, they must lose by 9 points or less for your bet to cash.

Total Match Points: The bookmaker will set a total number of combined points to be scored in the match, you select if the total will go over or under that number.

First Tryscorer: Predict which player will score the first try.

Anytime Tryscorer: Less risk than the first tryscorer bet, choose a player to score a try at anytime throughout the game.

Anytime Tryscorer / Match Winner: This is a combination of Head to Head and Anytime Tryscorer. Select a player to score a try anytime and his team to win, and if both things happen you’re a winner.