Have you ever heard of a game called rugby? It’s a really fun sport, especially if you’ve seen a game being played. The rules are similar to games that are familiar to you (such as soccer or football). Two teams, with 15 players each, try to earn points by getting a ball across the opponent’s goal line or between their goalposts. However, in rugby, you can only throw the ball backwards!
Rugby is popular in countries such as Australia, England, Italy and Argentina. It’s watched by over 2 billion people worldwide, especially during world championships. Sam and Sofia, of Little Passports, have been watching the 2013 Rugby Championships and wanted to share some fun facts they have learned. There are many different rugby competitions each year, so don’t get confused! The Rugby Championship is an annual contest between the best rugby teams in the southern hemisphere, including Argentina, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand! Little Passports is here to help you learn more about these countries.
• The Argentinian national rugby team is nicknamed Los Pumas, and their emblem features a jaguar. It is the first year they have been included in this Championship.
• Argentina is the second largest country in South America.
• Argentina’s version of the tooth fairy is a small rat called “El Ratón Perez.”
• The Australian rugby team is named after the Wallaby, an animal that looks very similar to the Kangaroo.
• Scientists are closely watching a volcano called Big Ben. They believe it may be the next Australian volcano to erupt! The last volcanic eruption in Australia was over 5000 years ago at Mt. Gambier.
• The warmest months in Australia happen when we are having winter in the United States. This is because Australia is below the equator.
• The South African rugby team is named the Springboks, which is also a small antelope found in West Africa.
• South Africa has 3 capital cities: Pretoria, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein.
• South Africa has 11 official languages, including Zulu, Afrikaans, Xhosa and English.
• New Zealand won the Rugby Championship last year in 2012. They are in the final match this year too!
• This country is over 100,000 square miles, roughly the size of Colorado.
• One of New Zealand’s popular animals is the kiwi bird, in part because it is native only to this country.
The 2013 Rugby Championships will end this week! Will you be watching?
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