Chapter 1: Rugby Rules

Before betting on rugby union, it’s important to have a strong understanding of the rules of the game, and what impact they might have on your betting.

  • The rules of rugby union
  • How does scoring work in rugby union?
  • What is a scrum, muck and line out?

How many players are on a rugby union team?

Each rugby union team is made up of 15 players. This includes 8 forwards and 7 backs. Rugby union teams can make 7 player substitutions during the game. Each player on a rugby union team will have their own unique role and responsibilities.

‘Forwards’ carry the ball and drive towards the other teams goal. ‘Backs’ attack from the flanks, and ‘hookers’ & ‘half backs’ focus on distributing the ball and connecting play.

How do you score in rugby union?

There are 4 main ways to score in rugby union. ‘Grounding’ the rugby ball in the other teams try-line scores you 5 points. After that, teams have a chance to kick the ball into the goal for an additional 2 points.

Drop goals award teams 3 points. Penalties awarded because of foul play result in a kick at goal for 3 points. This is one of the more common ways of scoring at the elite level.

Passing in rugby union

In rugby union, the ball can be passed as often as the players want, however the ball must always be played backwards. You can kick and chase, which is good for clearing your defensive lines or if the defensive press is on.

What is offside in rugby union?

One of the major differences between rugby League and rugby union is the offside rule. The rules differ for attackers and defenders in rugby union.

Defenders must be less than 10 meters from the ball as it gets played. They must also be closer to the oppositions try-line than the rugby union ball during open play and be less than 5 meters from the base during a scrum. Attackers must be behind the ball when it is played. 

What is a line out, ruck, scrum and maul?

Line outs occur when the ball has gone out of play and consist of a minimum of 2 players. One player throws the rugby ball back into play from the touchline. Two lines of opposing players then leap from the ground to try and catch the ball. Players can be lifted off the ground to catch the rugby ball.

Rucks and mauls can be confusing for new players. Simply put, a ruck happens when the ball is in contact with the ground. Players then try to gain an advantage by pushing their opposing players back. 

The difference between rucks and mauls is the way the rugby ball is handled. During mauls the ball is off the ground. Referees can decide who gained the advantage and potentially award a scrum if there is a minor offence. 

Scrums are used to restart play after any sort of rules infringement in rugby union. 8 players from each team will line up to compete in the scrum. 

Read Chapter 2

Now that you understand the key rules and regulations of rugby union, take a look at the variety of events available to watch and bet on.