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Lobbygobbler

What was Rugby called before the 1895 split?

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One little thing that narks me is people within and outside RL who refer to the game of rugby prior to the split as "rugby union". This myth was even propagated by RL people in the Eddie Waring documentary ther other day.

Surely it was just called "Rugby" and governed by the Rugby Football Union?

Does anyone have any evidence that Rugby was called Rugby Union before the split?

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I always thought there was originally two games, rugby football and association football. The word union only came about after 'the great schism' to differentiate it from the Northern Union, later Rugby League.

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well this print on the vanity fair website is dated February 1st 1890 and entitled "Rugby Union".. not sure why as it looks like a pratt in a bowler hat but its obviously a term used at this point..

here

would expect and IIRC it was just called Rugby or Football by most people as it is now by people.. with the union and league left off and people from the different areas knowing which one you meant when you were talking.. and knowing the context you were talking in etc.. as it is now.

Edited by RP London

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well this print on the vanity fair website is dated February 1st 1890 and entitled "Rugby Union".. not sure why as it looks like a pratt in a bowler hat but its obviously a term used at this point..

here

would expect and IIRC it was just called Rugby or Football by most people as it is now by people.. with the union and league left off and people from the different areas knowing which one you meant when you were talking.. and knowing the context you were talking in etc.. as it is now.

The title is referring to the Rugby Football Union not the game

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One little thing that narks me is people within and outside RL who refer to the game of rugby prior to the split as "rugby union". This myth was even propagated by RL people in the Eddie Waring documentary ther other day.

Surely it was just called "Rugby" and governed by the Rugby Football Union?

Does anyone have any evidence that Rugby was called Rugby Union before the split?

In the early 1890s the infamous Rev Frank Marshall wrote a book called "Football: The Rugby Union Game"

It's well worth a read if you can find a copy.

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I'd normally shift this into the cross-code section, but that's closed at the moment due to the absence of the only moderator with the patience to keep things on the right side of civil in there, so to prevent hostilities spilling over into this section in the meantime, I'm locking the thread. Sorry.

In terms of a definitive answer to the original question, try contacting Tony Collins via his blog at http://www.rugbyreloaded.com - if he doesn't know, no one does.

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