Rugby in Australia is played under the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) which is also a member of the International Ruby Board (IRB). The Australian rugby team is nicknames The Wallabies and are ranked third in the on the IRB World Rankings. Rugby is one of the most watched games in Australia after cricket and is religiously followed in the country. The Australian rugby team plays many international and domestic matches ever year including the Rugby World Cup, Tri Nation Series, Pacific Nations Cup, IRB Sevens World Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens, Adelaide Sevens, Bledisloe Cup and the Mandela Challenge Plate. Australia has competed in 6 world cups and has won two of them one in 1991 against England and the other in 1999 against France.
Australian Rugby has been played since the 1850s and in the early 1900s Sydney was considered to be a sporting city where the Rugby League was just starting to create its foothold. It was in the late 1900s that three prominent football codes became extremely popular and garnered a lot of interest since they were introduced in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland. These codes were soccer, Victorian rules and rugby.
The rugby game was first played in NSW in 1860s when the first club was formed in 1864 by the Sydney University and it was after that the district competitions began in 1900s. 1n 1883 the Southern Rugby Football Union which was later renamed the New South Wales Rugby Union in 1892 became the first rugby team to tour overseas after they toured New Zealand.
In 1907 the New South Wales rugby team versus the New Zealand All Blacks drew a staggering crowd of over 50,000 people to the SCG, which was about 10% of the Sydney population and it was after this that the district club matches and competitions really started becoming popular.
In the earlier days of the game the players wore strides which usually ended just below the knees and some even wore caps in the clubs colours which had a tassel hanging at the back. The popular trends then were collar-studs or whiskers tackling. Popular stars back then like Lonzo Spragg and Stan Wickham would even wear smart handkerchiefs around their necks and often the opposition would be left behind holding on to them after a tackle.
Since then things have changed a lot in the Australian rugby field. Today the Wallabies wear the traditional green and gold kit which is now recognised worldwide. After winning the world cup in 1999 the Australian Team retained the Bledisloe Cup and went on to win the Tri Nations Cup for the first time in 2000. Today the Australian Rugby team has undergone many changes but their goal now is to win the next Rugby World Cup and we wish them all the luck!