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The 15-a-side format is the cornerstone of the game of rugby union. It is a full contact sport involving tackles, rucks, mauls, lineouts and scrums.
Each team of 15 players is divided into eight forwards and seven backs, each with defined roles in the team. The forwards are ball-winners who also play a major part in retaining possession when a player on their side is tackled. They take part in rugby's set pieces – the scrum and the lineout – and secure possession; the backs receive the ball from the forwards then run and pass to create space.
The object of the game is to score more points than the opposition. Points are accumulated through scoring a try (five points), a penalty (three points), a drop goal (three points) and a conversion (two points). Details of how these points are awarded can be found in in the scoring guide. The attacking team strives to move forward by kicking, passing or running with the ball in hand, but when the ball is being passed, it may not travel forward.
More information on the basics of rugby is available in The Game section of this website. Alternatively, the following links will provide you with: