Sports Information: Rugby Union



  • It's an active and compulsive sport with many unpredictable score turnarounds

  • There are many different betting markets, including in-play and spread betting

  • Increased television coverage has vastly improved the scope for in-play betting

  • There is plenty of research to help you fine-tune your bets




Rugby Union is now a popular sport throughout the world although most support comes from within the Commonwealth. The game was first regulated in the UK in 1845 and the Rugby Football Union was established in 1871. Similar developments took place in Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina. Twenty teams took part in the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals, although there remains a wide gulf between the leading nations and the rest of the world. 




The fifteen-a-side game developed towards the end of the twentieth century together with the point scoring system as we know it.

  • 5 points for a try

  • 2 points for a successful try conversion kick

  • 3 points for a penalty kick

  • 3 points for a drop kick during open play






International competitions are held annually in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. 
Each year the British Lions, a selection of the best players from English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish teams, tour one of the major Southern Hemisphere rugby nations and play a series of three test matches. There is a lot of interest in these games. Below national level, there's a solid structure in each major country both at club and regional level. These teams now operate on a professional basis since the introduction of Sky TV coverage. There are national leagues in England, Scotland, Wales and France and a regional structure in Ireland. In Europe, there are two major international club competitions held annually, the Heineken Cup being the most prestigious. This operates on a league basis up to the quarter final stage and then adopts a knockout format. In the Southern Hemisphere, the leading club teams in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa take part in the Super Sevens competition. This intensive playing structure has been instrumental in raising the standards of the game considerably over the last ten years.



Alongside many one-off internationals and tours by international teams, there is a well-established programme of international competitions, namely:


The World Cup, which takes place every four years, the next to take place will be in England in 2015
The Six Nations Championship. This is held every year and is competed for by England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales
The Rugby Championship. This is held every year and is competed for by Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa
Numerous other tournaments covering a specific part of the world, eg the Pacific nations Cup.

One of the most eagerly-awaited international tours is that by the British and Ireland Lions. As its name suggests the team is made up of players from the UK and Ireland. The team tours every four years visiting Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in rotation.




Bettors wishing to place bets on Rugby Union can do so via bookmakers, betting exchanges and spread betting firms. Betting turnover on rugby has increased substantially since the sport became televised. In betting terms, there is a significant bias towards international matches. Betting turnover on the 2011 Rugby

World Cup exceeded $100 million, and a typical Six Nations international would exceed $20 million. However, turnover on premiership rugby games would tend to be less than $50,000.
There are five main types of betting on Rugby Union 

  • Ante-Post Betting

  • Handicap Betting

  • Fixed Odds betting

  • In-Play Betting

  • Spread Betting










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