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Rugby, the revered European ancestor to American football, is an
intense sport that is known for its passionate fans. Part of that passion is
played out in the collecting of autographs by the sport's key figures.
Though rugby is part of a sports tradition that reaches far back into the
ancient world, the sport itself is a relatively modern one. Ancient games of a
similar design date to the 4th century B.C., but it was not until the 1830s that
the modern sport of rugby took shape. Following the development of teams
and essential game rules, the first rugby match was played in December of
1857 on the grounds of Scotland's Edinburgh University.
Over the remainder of the 19th century and into the 20th, rugby grew in
international popularity. Today, the sport is most popular in western Europe
and Australia, but its fans stretch around the globe. As a result, rugby
memorabilia bearing autographs is in ever-increasing demand.
Rugby takes its name from Rugby School located in central
Rugby debuted at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris and appeared four
times in subsequent competitions. It was dropped in 1924, but will return to
the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil
Rugby did not enter the echelon of professional sports until