New to Rugby? Here’s everything you need to know


Rugby is a type of sport that has gained serious popularity in many different parts of the world, and it has even featured in the Summer Olympics.

If you are interested in learning more about the game, here are some useful facts and tips for beginners:

The Basics

Rugby Union, known simply as rugby, is a sport that involves fifteen players in every team, each team having seven substitutes on the bench. Every team’s goal is to score more points than the opponent, and points are scored through tries, penalty kicks, conversions, and drop goals. If the scores are equal at the end of the game, it ends in a draw

The game is played on a rectangular field, and a match is split into two halves, each lasting 40 minutes. There is always one referee present, and two touch judges or assistant referees. The half-time serves as a mandatory rest period and it can last up to ten minutes. After the break, both teams change ends.

The Key Rules

The rules in place are defined by the International Rugby Board and they are also known as the ‘laws’. One of the most basic rules is that no one is allowed to throw the ball forward to a team player. All passes must be thrown either sideways or backwards to any of the teammates. Other ways to take the ball closer to the opponent’s goal and score points are running with it or kicking it.

When the players wish to prevent the opponents from scoring, they are allowed to tackle their player who holds the ball. They can only tackle the player by wrapping their arms around them and bringing them to the ground. Tackling the opponents above the shoulder or using legs to do so are both strictly forbidden.


Players can score points in four different ways: 

  • A try is scored when one of the members of the attacking team touches the ball to the ground in the in-goal area of the opponent’s team. It is worth five points.
  • After scoring a try, the player can attempt to get two more points by scoring a conversion kick - a successful kick between the opponent’s goalposts.
  • Whenever a penalty occurs, the attacking team can try to score a penalty kick. They can attempt a penalty goal from any point on the pitch, and score three points if they make it.
  • There is also a penalty try which is awarded by the referee whenever foul play prevents a team from scoring. It is worth seven points.
  • Finally, a team can get three points from a drop goal, which is done by scoring a goal in open play by doing a dropkick.

Betting on Rugby

Rugby is popular across the globe not only for its interesting rules and gameplay potential, but for its betting capabilities, too. The game’s international fame is now so big that many passionate fans got used to placing a wager or two from time to time, and some countries do it more frequently than others. While South Africa currently has the best team, while England is the game’s country of origin, Ireland is known for having one of the most passionate fans and betting crowds in the world. 

In Ireland, the sport has become so popular that you can not only watch, play or enjoy it, but you can also wager money on your favourite games on a daily basis. The game itself became kind of a staple of the Irish sports community since the formation of the Irish Rugby Union (IRFU) in 1879. Consequently, today, anyone interested in trying their luck with one of the many popular Irish online betting sites can do it on places like IrishLuck, where they can also get useful rugby tips for beginners. Once they learn the basics, it’s easy to get the game going. The same is becoming a norm for other countries across the globe. 

Some of the Top National Teams

Although the sport has gained international fame, there are some countries where it is more loved than in the others:

South Africa

South Africa is the current World Cup champion and the team will do whatever they can to keep the title. Although the national team has been represented only seven times, they managed to be one of the top-scoring countries when it comes to winning the World Cup. South Africa remains ranked among the top teams in the category, and the game is so popular in the country that even children are well familiar with it.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, it is considered more than just a sport. It is seen as the backbone of the country’s sporting culture. All Blacks - the country’s national team - holds a 77% win record in different international tests. They have achieved three World Cup wins so far and that success has only been matched by South Africa. 


Rugby was first developed in England in 1823 when a young boy named William Webb Ellis picked up a ball and started running. The English National Team is one of the most successful teams in the world. They may have lost the finals in 2019, but IN 2020 they managed to win the 6 Nations. The team took part in every single World Cup, and they even won the title in 2003.

Rugby may seem a little bit complicated to beginners, and we hope this overview of useful rugby tips helped you grasp some of the basics. Now that you understand the key rules of the sport, you can start enjoying exciting rugby games, place a few bets, or even try playing it yourself.


Ireland Fixtures