The history of rugby union follows from various football games played long before the 19th century, but it was not until the middle of that century that rules were formulated and codified. The code of football later known as rugby union. Until the late 1860s rugby was played with a leather ball with an inner-bladder made of a pig’s bladder. The shape of the bladder imparted a vaguely oval shape to the ball but they were far more spherical in shape than they are today

In 1851 a football of the kind used at Rugby School was exhibited at the first World’s Fair, the Great Exhibition in London,this ball can still be seen at the Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum and it has a definite ovoid shape. Richard Lindon is believed to have invented the first footballs with rubber bladders


Richard Lindon  1880  – prototype balls

England – second position Japan 2019
New Zealand – third position Japan 2019