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Rugby Union and Rugby League are all very famous games played around the world. Originating from the UK, Rugby Union is the older of the two laws with the RFU (Rugby League) founded in 1871.

However, rugby games were divided into two in 1895 when the Lancashire and Yorkshire clubs wanted their players to be compensated for the missing work. The RFU has resisted any form of professionalism, and therefore, The northern clubs have established the Northern Union and the RFU's amateur game called the league of rugby and the Northern Union game was called rugby league. Over the years, both games were developed separately with many changes in rules and regulations. Finally, the Rugby League took professionalism in 1995.

When discussing the difference between rugby league and rugby union, it is essential to point out that two forms of rugby share a large number of similarities.

Similarities Between The Codes 

Aim of the game: In both games, the purpose of both teams is to win the game by scoring more points than the opponent through more tries, conversions, drop goals, and penalty goals.

Scoring: In both forms, a try is recorded when a player touches the ball beyond the goal line of the defensive team. Teams are then allowed to try to get two more points by kicking a conversion.

The Balls: The ovoid balls used in both code are the same, and in both rugby forms, it can be brought forward in three ways. By running with it, by kicking it or the result of a piece set. It can also be moved in a horizontal or backward direction but not forwarded.

Tackling: In both rugby union and rugby leagues, only ball-bearing players are allowed to handle and in both codes, playing back with the ball is passed on to another team member despite in ways slightly different.

Differences betwreen rugby union and rugby league

Differences Between Rugby Union And Rugby League

Rugby League

In Rugby League, each side has 13 active players, and 10 substitutes are allowed during the game. The main goal is to score goals by pushing the ball down the length of the field. The opposition team hopes to prevent this by tackling. When a player is successfully solved in Rugby League, they have to drop the ball and roll it behind with their feet, so that it can be picked up by others.


There is a finite settlement limit in Rugby League, and when this limit is reached, the ball must be handed over to the opposing team. If the ball is out of play, the opposing team will be awarded a scrum, which almost always results in the team gaining possession of the ball. Scrum can also be used for other infringements. The scrums traditionally include a total of 6 people.

The scoring mechanism in the two codes is also slightly different. In the Rugby League, a try is worth 4 points, a goal worth 2 points and a field goal/drop goal is worth 1 point.

Rugby Union

In Rugby Union, each side has 15 active players and 7 substitutes are allowed by each party during the course of the day. Players aim to score by touching the ball down the test line of the opposing team. Points can also be scored by kicking the ball through the exact section of the goal post.


When a player is dealt, the ball can be picked up by any player from any team, as long as they stand on their feet and they have come from an onside position. In theory, there is not a finite number of tackles. If the ball is out of play, a line-out will be awarded to restart the game.

Other minor violations are solved by scrums. These scrums usually consist of 8 people. In the Alliance, once try to earn 5 points, a free kick or a falling goal is worth 3 points, and the conversion kick is worth 2 points.

Hopefully this article helps you understand more about Rugby League and Rugby Union.

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