Intensely “disappointed but gracious,” the Aussies accepted their defeat at the hands of England in the World Cup. The Cup is avidly watched around the world by about a billion rugby fans.
A version of rugby was probably played as early as 1175 when “as many as a hundred men on a team would try to kick, carry, and blast a ball past their opponents. The authorities took a dim view of these pastimes, and a number of kings prohibited games of 'foote balle. Naturally the Brits kept playing the game whenever and wherever they could. . .The game of rugby is named after the school where, according to legend, young William Webb Ellis 'with fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game'. The year was 1843, and retribution, no doubt, was swift, but Ellis had expressed a desire for higher things that was shared by others. . .”
From our sports wrap-up.