Rugby, a high-impact, physically demanding sport, has captivated the hearts of millions worldwide for over a century. With its origins in England, rugby has evolved into a global phenomenon that boasts a diverse community of players and fans. The goal is to score a point by advancing the ball over the opposing team’s line. Rugby’s origins can be traced back to the early 19th century in the town of Rugby, England. It was at Rugby School that a young student, William Webb Ellis, famously picked up a soccer ball and ran with it during a football (soccer) match, giving birth to the game of rugby as we know it today. This momentous event led to the codification of the sport’s rules, with the first rugby union match taking place in 1871.

While rugby receives widespread adoration from enthusiasts, it continues to be branded as a brutal sport by some people. The prevailing sentiment often leans toward highlighting its adverse aspects rather than its merits. For those who are unfamiliar with the game, it might seem aggressive because of actions like driving, grappling opponents to the ground, and executing forceful tackles. Consequently, there are those who argue that a sport of this nature should face prohibition as it gives no benefits. In fact, in 2016, a group of experts have signed an open letter arguing that full contact rugby should be banned in schools. They believed that this type of sport could lead to a short-term and long-term injuries.

There’s an old saying, “Football is a gentlemen’s game played by hooligans, but rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen”. I believe there is no other sport quite like rugby when it comes to instilling discipline and respect. In rugby, it’s not just about winning or losing; it’s about how you play the game and how you conduct yourself on and off the field. In any other sport, it’s not uncommon to see players argue with referees or dispute decisions. However, in rugby, such behaviour is a rarity. Rugby players are raised in a culture that places a premium on sportsmanship and respect for the officials. It’s rooted in every player from a young age that the referee’s decision is final. Rugby’s unique blend of physicality and gentlemanly conduct creates an environment where players, regardless of their backgrounds or differences, come together as a united team, bound by the principles of fair play and sportsmanship. It’s a sport that not only moulds athletes but also shapes individuals of character, reinforcing the belief that rugby is indeed a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.

“The only colour matters on the field are the ones your brothers are wearing besides you”. In rugby, there are no barriers or walls, it is just 15 people, doing everything they can to protect and support each other on the field. It’s a sport where differences in backgrounds, cultures, or beliefs fade away when you step onto the pitch. In those gruelling 80 minutes, you’re not defined by your past or your future; you’re defined by your dedication to the team and your willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. The brotherhood forged through the highs and lows of the game is what makes rugby more than just a sport; it’s a shared journey, a bond that lasts a lifetime. When you wear that jersey, you’re not just standing for a team; you’re embodying the spirit of brotherhood that rugby stands for.

The Rugby World Cup (RWC) is just around the corner, scheduled for September this year.

However, unlike in some other countries, there won’t be any grand celebrations in Malaysia. What’s noteworthy is that the Malaysian rugby team achieved a remarkable achievement by consistently competing in the fiercely competitive Asian rugby arena, facing formidable opponents like Hong Kong and South Korea in three consecutive editions.

Furthermore, in 2022, Malaysia’s “Jalur Gemilang” earned a place on the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification pathway issued by World Rugby. If you have any doubts about their capabilities, it’s the right time to reconsider! All I’m asking for is a chance to show our support and let the Malaysia Rugby Team reach for even greater heights! Fly higher, Malaysia Rugby Team!






Azizi Basar

Centre for Language Studies

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)