Celebrating 200 Years of Rugby Football

2023 marks the 200th anniversary of the game of rugby football; 200 years since William Webb Ellis took the ball in his arms and ran with it on The Close at Rugby School. Throughout 2023, Rugby School, along with the rugby world, will be celebrating this anniversary. They will be welcoming teams from a range of backgrounds and abilities to play on The Close, as well as hosting dinners, evenings and their annual Festival On The Close

When: Throughout 2023

Where: Rugby, Warwickshire

To find out more, click here.

Some Key Events:

24 JANUARY 2023 – 9 DECEMBER 2023 – 2023 Exhibition
Visit the birthplace of the game and see The Close where rugby football first began, visit our 2023 exhibition and learn about how the game has developed since William Webb Ellis first took the ball in his arms and ran with it.
10 APRIL 2023 – Vets Rugby Club Sevens
Give your team the chance to play on the birthplace of the game, The Close, which for 2023 will be a new high-quality natural sand-based pitch.
23 APRIL 2023World’s Largest Rugby Scrum
On Sunday 23rd April 2023 we will be attempting the World’s Largest uncontested rugby scrum on the hallowed pitch, The Close, Rugby School. The current world record is 2,586 people, so we are looking for 3,000 participants!
24 JUNE 2023 – Re-enactment of the game & two Legend’s matches
Enjoy an afternoon on The Close watching that moment being replayed followed by two spectacular games of rugby when men’s and women’s teams, made up of vets and legends from rugby nations, will compete in two exciting matches including Wooden Spoon National Vets and Rugby School Staff, will compete in two exciting matches.
26 JUNE 2023 – 29 JUNE 2023Festival on The Close 2023: With a Fine Disregard
A major public festival of arts and education since 2017.

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