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  1. A Decade Later, Rugby Union returns to Nigeria National Sports Festival – Edo 2020
  2. NRFF President urges women to take on greater roles in Rugby
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  4. Rugby Africa announces establishment of Referee Committee
  5. NRFF Vice President; Grace Iyorhe has been appointed into Rugby Africa Women’s Rugby Advisory Sub Committee.


FAQ On Rugby

Legend has it that 16-year-old student William Webb Ellis, caught the ball and ran with it towards the opponent’s goal line, rather than following the rules of catching and kicking the ball only, during a game of football at Rugby School in England in 1823. Hence, the game of rugby as we now know it was born.

The biggest change in rugby becoming a professional sport in the northern hemisphere followed by the success of the 1995 World Cup when the International Rugby Board declared rugby union professional.

A rugby pitch is between 94 -100 meters long, and between 68-70 meters wide. The length of the pitch is from try line to try line, which is the plane the ball must be crossed to score. The touch line is what keeps the ball and players in play throughout the game.

15s rugby is played with 15 players on each side, and 7s rugby is played with 7 players on each side. There are two 40-minute halves in 15s rugby, with a 10-minute half time break. In 7s, there are two 7-minute halves with a 2-minute half time break. The positions change in rugby as well depending on which type you are playing. In 15s, there are 7 backs and 8 forwards, and in 7s there are 4 backs and 3 forwards.

Rugby union and Rugby League are two separate games that evolved from a common rugby origin, and although they share many common features, the differences are marked. Despite their origins, Union and League are now best regarded as different sports – though the styles of player and play have become increasingly similar in recent years. The main differences in laws, is that League teams have only 13 players whereas Rugby Union has 15. In Union line-outs are used to re-start play when the ball goes out of play. The scoring is different too. A League try is worth four points while Union’s is valued a five; a drop goal in League counts for just one point while in Union it is worth three; a League penalty clocks up two points and the Union version three but a conversion kick following a try is worth two points in both codes. In League an attacking team can only be tackled six times each attack before the ball is turned over, where as in Union there is unlimited tackles. Rugby League has always been professional, where as payment for players in Union was only legalised in 1995 (see more below).

FAQ on Rugby Union

As a rule, rugby union games consist of two separate periods of 40 minutes in each. International rugby union matches permit the referee to pause the game clock for stoppages made during normal play. There is a 10-minute interval at half time when both teams change ends before restarting play for the second half.

In rugby, the ball cannot be passed forward, however, the goal of the game is to move forward towards the opponents’ goal line to score. This conflict eliminates the success of just one player and forces players to work together as a team and build unity.

The original split in 1895 was over the issue of paying players. Rugby Union held out as a strictly amateur sport, ie playing for no financial benefit, whereas Rugby League allowed professionalism in the game. The split was very acrimonious and the issue was one of the most divisive issues in the sport.

For 100 years, at least on the surface, the Union code stuck to its principles and steadfastly refused to permit player payments of any kind, including things such as boot sponsorship and book deals. It was also against the Union rules on amateurism for union players to be involved in any way with the league. Anyone who turned to the league to earn a living was banned from playing the Union game ever again.

However, as the 20th century progressed the amateur status of the game was under increasing pressure. In August 1995, in the face of widespread abuses (in the form of under the table payments, player trust funds, etc) and pressure from the top players who were being expected to put in many hours of training in an era of increasing media interest in the game, the game’s governing body the IRB finally relinquished and Rugby Union became fully professional at all levels.


NRFF means Nigeria Rugby Football Federation

Players may want to simply ‘get back on the park’. Providing flexible playing opportunities for them is a good idea – be agile, think local, with less travel. Encouraging friendly matches and other easily accessible playing opportunities should be strongly considered.

The priority should be to maximise the number of players safely getting out on a rugby pitch, so they can enjoy their match, rather than on the result of a game. Matches that result in not all players being able to play should be avoided. Any matches should remain accessible and inclusive, enabling all players to have an active part.

FAQ on Application/Registration

We at the NRFF always want to hear from talented and passionate people. So if you can’t find any roles that are suited to you right now, then you can apply to one of our speculative roles and set up email alerts so that whenever a suitable job comes up, you’re the first to hear about it.

Yes, to keep things as simple as possible, all applications should be made online. If you have a disability that prevents you from completing the online application process, please email us at

As your application may be reviewed by more than one individual, we advise that you address your cover letter to ‘To whom it may concern’.

We hope that the recruitment system and application process is straightforward and fairly intuitive, however, if you are having difficulty completing your application then please do email the team at and ask for help.

No! Although many of us do and many more of us love sport generally.

Yes, we do. there are numerous Nigerian players based abroad and currently playing for the National Team

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