It’s been a pretty rough season for Bears fans, so escape the NFL for a bit and get a taste of American football’s ancestral roots during The Rugby Weekend.
USA Rugby Men’s Eagles face the Maori All Blacks and the New Zealand All Blacks will face Ireland at Toyota Park and Soldier Field for a glimpse of this action-packed sport.
Although not as popular in the United States, rugby is quickly growing and there are a lot of similarities between the classic English sport and American football. In fact, rugby came to the U.S. in 1883 and played heavily and then in 1905 John Heisman added the forwards pass, which is illegal in rugby, to make the game safer. Yes, this game is more dangerous than our beloved football. The U.S. even won a gold medal in rugby at the 1924 Paris Olympics.
As mentioned there are some key differences between rugby and football. Just like the NFL you try to get into an end zone to score points and you can convert by kicking through the goal. However, you have to make all passes laterally or behind, the protection is minimum, and there are other elements like scrums.
The Rugby Weekend takes place Nov. 4 and 5. USA Rugby Men’s Eagles face the Maori All Blacks Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at Toyota Park, 7000 Harlem Ave, Bridgeview, IL. The New Zealand All Blacks will face Ireland Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. at Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Dr. For more information visit therugbyweekend.com.