Rugby in Ireland

Rugby union is a popular sport in Ireland, governed by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU). The IRFU is organized to encompass all of Ireland, that is, it includes both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Initially, the responsibilities of the IRFU was split between two bodies, one, the Irish Football Union, dealt with clubs in Leinster, Munster, and parts of Ulster, and the Northern Football Union of Ireland dealt with clubs in the Belfast area (for those of you unfamiliar with Irish geography, it would take a Hamilton limo bus about an hour and a half to travel from Ulster to Belfast). Both of these organizations were founded in 1874. It was in 1879 that the IRFU was formed, amalgamating the two previous organizations. In 1886, the IRFU joined Scotland and Wales to found the International Rugby Football Board, which was joined by England in 1890.

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