Category Archives: Rugby

Santa Monica Rugby Club – Hall of Fame

As you know, Gary absolutely loves the sport of rugby. The sport has had a huge influence on his life–establishing a strong work ethic, team commitment, trust, loyalty, and putting others before himself. He has also been blessed to travel to many different places such as Spain, Portugal, and Israel, thanks to rugby.

In 2008, Gary Puterman was honored with being inducted to the Santa Monica Rugby Club Hall of Fame! Continue reading

Rugby Facts

Some of the most interesting Rugby facts in the world today.

The beginning:

  • Although nobody knows for sure, most believe the game of rugby was supposedly created by a football player named William Webb Ellis in 1823.
  • The first written laws of rugby were produced in 1845.

The original rugby balls were plum-shaped due to the shape of pigs’ bladders that they were made from, the first balls were simply inflated pigs bladders, which take on a distinctive oblong oval shape when fully inflated. The origin of the distinctive shape of the rugby ball is easier to establish. William Gilbert a shoemaker who lived near Rugby school created all of the original balls.  They became more spherical towards the end of the 19th Century when they began being made using rubber inner tubes rather than the bladders of pigs. However, to distinguish the balls used in rugby from the balls used for football, Rugby School requested that their balls remained slightly egg-shaped. Over time, they have become more and more flattened to the shape that they are now. Oval balls are more suited to rugby than spherical balls as they are easier to catch, hold and run with and don’t roll as far so don’t go out of play as often.

  • A try is called a try because originally you received no points for crossing the line but gained the opportunity to try and kick at goal.
  • Rugby balls are oval because when first made they we’re created using pigs bladders, which when inflated became oval.
  •  The reigning Olympic rugby champions are the USA, they won it in 1924 and the sport has not been played at the Olympics since.
  •  No Rugby World Cup winner has ever retained the trophy in the next tournament.
  •  According to Wikipedia there are 5,062,396 registered players of rugby union.
  • Once again according to Wikipedia there are 18,920 rugby clubs worldwide.
  • New Zealand is the little superpower of world rugby. They are tied with Australia with 3 finals and 2 wins since 1987.The New Zealand National team, the All-Blacks, was founded in the 1880′s, before the country was even independent.
  • The native Maori of New Zealand found the game well adapted to their warrior culture, and make up a large percentage of All Blacks players even today.
  • Basketball was created by a rugby coach who wanted an indoor sport to keep his players conditioned during the winter in 1891.
  • The first ever rugby game took place between Scotland and England, which Scotland won.
  • Since the World Cup has started, every opening game has used the same whistle to start the game.
  • Jonah Lomu scored the most tries in one world cup in 1999 where he scored 8 tries.
  • The 2011 World Cup was the biggest sporting event to be held in New Zealand.
  • Australia scored the most World Cup tries in one match with an incredible 22. This was against Namibia in 2003. The final score was 142-0.
  • Rugby is the national sport of Wales (and many others I know!)
  • From 1886 to 1888 a try only gained a team 1 point.
  • In 1924 Western Samoa played their first international match, it was against Fiji and took place at 7am so the Samoans could go to work afterwards. The match took place in a park and there was a tree on the pitch.
  •  Seven players have represented two countries in Rugby World Cup history.
  •  1429 tries have been scored in Rugby World Cup tournaments from 1987 to 2007.
  • Grant Fox of New Zealand has the record for the most points scored in one world cup tournament, 126 in 1987.
  • In 2007, a rugby ball was suspended from the Eiffel Tower to commemorate the country hosting the the World Cup.
  • Rugby Union players who swapped code to League were banned from returning to the Amateur game until 26th August 1995 when the IRB announced Rugby Union was an ‘open game’.
  • The leather oval ball replaced the spherical ball in 1892.
  • Rugby Union changed from a 20 a side game to a 15 a side game in 1877.
  • Britain won a bronze medal in the 1900 Olympics as they came third out of three entrants and won the silver in 1908, by coming second out of two entrants.
  • Rugby was introduced to Japan in 1890 by Edward Clark, a Cambridge University instructor who taught English in Keio University in Tokyo and taught the sport as an extra curricular activity.
  • The trophy awarded to the winner of the Six Nations was silver on the inside but due to champagne celebrations, it became so corroded that it is now lined with 22 carat gold.
  •  British troops stationed in Cape Town introduced the game of rugby to South Africa.
  • In 1864 Sydney University became the first team in Australia.
  • In 1890 due to a lack of rugby at the end of the season W.P. Carpmael decides to make a team with the best players available, thus the Barbarians were created.
  • Completing the kiwi-related Rugby is this tale. As if facing the All Blacks, with their contingent of fearless 200-pound native warriors with face tattoos was not intimidating enough, the team adopted a Maori war chant tradition, Haka, in 1884. Called the Kora, the primal ritual is performed before every game.
  • One last piece of rugby facts trivia. While the USA is not known as fertile ground for rugby, it was technically the reigning world champion for over 60 years.
  • The USA team took the gold medal in Rugby at the 1924 Olympics, after which the sport was dropped from the competition. Until the first Rugby world cup in 1987, the absence of any other international competitions left the USA champions by default.
  • The British Isles touring team to South Africa won all of their 20 of their games in the year 1891.
  • The year 1892 saw the creation of the NZRFU, New Zealand’s Rugby Football Union.
  • Russian Price Alexander Obelensky left Russia to move to England in 1917 where he was granted citizenship. In 1936 he was called up to the England squad and scored 17 tries in 4 games.
  • Willie John McBride has won the most British and Irish Lions caps with 17.
  • George Gregan of Australia has the most international caps of any player from any country with 139.
  • Daisuke Ohata of Japan has scored the most international tries with 69 in 58 matches for his country.
  • The Millennium Stadium, completed in 1999, replaced Cardiff Arms Park as the home ground of the Welsh Rugby Union team.
  • Shane Williams has scored the most international tries for Wales with 58.