Rugby World Cup 2011
Everything you need to know about the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand Discuss this article
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he story goes that the game of rugby was invented when young William Webb Ellis caught a football in his arms and decided to run with it during a game in 1823. This was at a school in the UK town of Rugby. And somehow his fellow pupils and teachers admired this, creating a whole new sport in his honour and in that of the town, rather than give him a severe beating in the changing rooms afterwards. Try doing that next time you play football with your mates and see how you get on.
Historians have questioned whether the story is indeed true. But however the game came about, thanks to its invention we now have almost two months of gruelling, intense sporting action to look forward to, with the 2011 Rugby World Cup being held in New Zealand. This year sees only the seventh event taking place – comparatively young in terms of prestigious sporting events – yet it is one that continues to grow in popularity, said to be the third most watched in the world after the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics. It can be argued that it is this event which, over the years, has given birth to rugby union’s biggest stars – both Jonah Lomu and Jonny Wilkinson, names which even those who dislike the sport will recognise, first came to the world’s attention from their achievements in past tournaments.
So what can we expect this time? There are 20 teams who have battled their way through the qualifying stages – four more than when the event first began – all set on being the ones to lift the Webb Ellis Cup. And who will it be? New Zealand are ranked as the best team in the world, while South Africa and France are also contenders. Could Australia be the first team to win the event three times? Or will a dark horse like Samoa cause a major upset? One thing is for certain – there are six weeks of world class rugby ahead of us. That’s 20 teams, 48 matches, one winner. Let battle commence.
The Rugby World Cup will be shown exclusively on OSN, and in high-definition on OSN Sports 1 HD. More information from your OSN service provider.
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