It is believed that the game of rugby football was "invented" by the young Englishman William Webb Ellis in 1823 when he picked up a ball during a soccer match at the Rugby School in Rugby, England and ran with it toward the opposing goal as his surprised opponents tried to tackle him.
Rugby soon spread throughout the British Empire, reaching North America, New Zealand, and Australia by the 1870's. The rugby sport reached Africa in the 1900’s during the colonial era.
These nations remain rugby power houses today. American and Canadian football are both direct offshoots of rugby.
Did you know that American football originated from rugby and rugby originated from soccer (football)?
Webb Ellis was born on 24th November 1806 and died on 24th February 1872