Six Nations

ON THIS DAY | The first ever rugby international took place

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Twickenham.(Photo by Paul Cunningham - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Twickenham.(Photo by Paul Cunningham - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

It was on this day, 150 years ago that the first ever rugby international took place. 

The match on 27 March 1871 saw Scotland take on England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh in front of 4 000 fans.

It was the Scots who ran out winners in a match that was very different to what we are used to today.

In fact, both teams consisted of 20 players and halves took place over 50 minutes. 

Of course, scoring was very different too.

If a team scored a try, that allowed a kick at the posts or a "try at goal". 

If that kick was successful, that was recorded as a goal and the team would receive a point.

A penalty kick at goal didn't exist at that stage. 

Scotland scored two tries and one goal while England managed a try.

Interestingly, the first international match in South Africa was played in 1891 against a British representative team.

South Africa claimed their first win five years later in defeating a team from the British Isles while the Springboks, as they became known, toured for the first time outside the country in 1906.

Led by Paul Roos, the Springboks lost to Scotland, drew with England but beat Wales, Ireland and France in a tour that lasted over three months and included 28 games in total. 

 

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