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Rugby Union - once a discontinued Olympic sport

Rugby was played at the Olympics in the years 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924, and after a long wait it was voted back onto the Olympic program for the 2016 Games. Rugby has been introduced back onto the program as the fast-paced sevens version of the game. See about Rugby 7s at the Olympics.

At the 1900 Paris Games, rugby drew the largest single crowd for any sport, in a match between England and France, won by France 27-8. It was attended by 6,000 spectators, with 4,389 paying for their entry. It certainly was not one of the most popular sports in terms of teams participating, with only two teams competing in 1908 and 1920.

1924 Rugby - France v USA1924 Olympic Games Rugby - France v USA

Notable Athletes



  1. France
  2. Germany
  3. Great Britain

Scores: France 27-17 Germany, France 27-8 Great Britain

1908: There was only one match, Australia / New Zealand defeated Great Britain 32-3

1920: There was only one match, United States beat France 8-0


  1. United States
  2. France
  3. Romania

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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