The sport of rugby is named after Rugby School, where the game was first played. The game is said to have been invented in 1823 when William Webb Ellis caught the ball while playing a game of football* at school, and ran to the goal with it. Although there is doubt about whether this actually happened, Webb Ellis is still remembered as the sport's inventor and the winner of the Rugby Union World Cup, held every four years, receives the Webb Ellis Cup.
Rugby is known for the use of oval-shaped balls. However they were not always this shape they used to be the shape of a plum, initially they were spherical by the end of the 19th century when rubber was used inside them instead of a pig’s bladder.
The reigning Rugby Olympic champion is that famous (?) rugby-playing nation, the United States! The game of rugby has only has only been an Olympic sport four times and made its first and last Olympic Games appearances in Paris. The first time it was played was in 1900 during the Paris Olympics. It was played again in the London Olympics of 1908, next in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics and finally in the 1924 Paris Olympics. As well as being the current Olympic champion, the United States is also the most successful nation winning gold in both the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games. A seven-a-side version of Rugby will make an appearance in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The first time a national anthem was sung before a sporting event happened, kind of spontaneously, before a rugby game. New Zealand famously dance the Haka before the start of a game of rugby, a traditional war-dance which is sometimes seen as an attempt to intimidate their opposition. On 16th November 1905 they played Wales at Cardiff Arms Park. After New Zealand danced the Haka before the match, Wales responded by beginning to sing the Welsh national anthem, ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ (not sure what it means, but it probably isn't anything to do with chickens). The crowd picked up on this and joined in. Nowadays, before major sporting events, it is traditional for the national anthems of the countries being represented to be sung beforehand.
The Rugby World Cup game with the highest number of points was 162 from the match played on 4th June 1995 when New Zealand beat Japan 145 points to 17.
The first international rugby match took place between Scotland and England in 1871 at Raeburn Park in Edinburgh. Scotland won1-0 by converting a try. The scorer, and therefore the first player to score an international rugby goal, was William Cross. If the modern scoring system was used, the score would have been 12-5 to Scotland, who scored two tries and one conversion. England achieved one try but failed to convert.