World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organises the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport's most recognised and most profitable competition. It also organises a number of other international rugby competitions, such as the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Under 20 Championship, and the Pacific Nations Cup.
(as the International Rugby Football Board)
|Type||International sport federation|
|110 member unions|
18 associated unions
|Affiliations||International Olympic Committee|
World Rugby's headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland. Its membership now comprises 120 national unions. Each member country must also be a member of one of the six regional unions into which the world is divided: Africa, Americas North, Asia, Europe, South America and Oceania.
World Rugby was founded as the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB) in 1886 by Scotland, Wales and Ireland, with England joining in 1890. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa became full members in 1949. France became a member in 1978 and a further eighty members joined from 1987 to 1999. The body was renamed the International Rugby Board (IRB) in 1998, and took up its current name of World Rugby in November 2014.
In 2009, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to include rugby sevens in the 2016 Summer Olympics. World Rugby gained membership of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) in 2010.