Rugby has a rich history of nearly 200 years. Its origin is the making of legend when, in 1823, during a football match, a student named William Webb Ellis at Rugby School in Great Britain took the ball in his hands and ran over the goal line, starting a sporting revolution.

Between 1845 and 1848, pupils from the Rugby School and students from the University of Cambridge documented and codified the early rules of rugby, which have evolved significantly over the years to support a sport for all shapes and sizes, boys and girls, practiced in more than 120 nations affiliated to the sport’s international federation.

Rugby union - 15 players per team - has featured on the Olympic programme four times: in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924.

Rugby Sevens made its Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016 and its Youth Olympic Games debut at Nanjing 2014.

144 Athletes (72 women and 72 men)

Women / Men / Tournament by Team



Teams: 6 for each gender.


Athletes: On roster 12, on bench 5, on field of play 7.


The duration of all matches is fourteen (14) minutes; two halves of seven (7) minutes each with a two (2) minute half-time interval.


Extra time: only for the ranking round if matches end in a draw. After a break of two (2) minutes the extra time is played in periods of five (5) minutes. The team which scores first in extra time will be the winner.

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