Know your game

RUGBY is an easy game to follow once you learn the basics.

Each side has 15 players - eight forwards and seven backs. The forwards' numbers on the backs of their jerseys range from 1-8. The backs' numbers are 9-15.

The idea is obviously to get the ball dotted down over the opposition's tryline.

During that time you will see lineouts - where the forwards line up and compete by jumping for the ball, which is thrown in by the hooker.

A scrum consists of the forwards who make a formation and scrum against each other.

Scoring: A try will earn your side five points, and a conversion, which is when a player attempts to kick the ball between the uprights, will earn you two points.

Each half is 40 minutes long with a 10-minute break for half-time.

Just as in soccer, you have a referee and two linesmen who control the game.

Often in rugby, if the referee is unsure whether a try has been scored, he will consult the TMO (television match official), who reviews video evidence of the incident before awarding or disallowing the try.

If an infringement occurs during the game - a knock-on, offside play or perhaps some illegal play - the referee will blow his whistle and award either a free-kick (not such a serious offence) or a penalty.

In certain cases he can issue a player with a yellow card, which will see him spend 10 minutes in the sin bin, or a red card, which means the player will be sent off for the rest of the game.