Rugby union at the 1900 Summer Olympics

Men's rugby union
at the Games of the II Olympiad
Dates14 October
28 October
Competitors47 from 3 nations

Rugby union at the 1900 Summer Olympics was played in Paris.[2] Rugby union matches at the 1900 Summer Olympics were held on 14 October and 28 October. Forty seven athletes from three nations competed.

France, Germany, represented mainly by the FC 1880 Frankfurt,[3] and Great Britain, represented by the Moseley Wanderers,[4] all participated in the inaugural rugby event at the Olympics. Only two games were contested, France played both Germany and Great Britain, the French winning both matches. This saw the gold go to France, and both Germany and Great Britain are credited with silver and no bronze awarded.


Match 1
Match Date Winner Score Loser
1 14 October France France 27–17 German Empire Germany
France-Germany match

In the first half, France scored a try by Emile Sarrade and a conversion. Germany scored tries by Heinrich Reitz and August Schmierer, with two conversions as well as a drop goal. Under the custom scoring rules of the Olympic tournament (3 points for tries or penalties, 2 points for conversions, 4 points for drop goals), this gave Germany a lead of 14–5.

The second half was vastly different, as Serrade scored two more tries while André Roosevelt also scored two and Frantz Reichel and A. Albert added one each. Two more conversions were made, bringing France's score to a total of 27. Germany, on the other hand, scored only one try, by one of the Ludwigs.[5] France thus won the match 27–17.

Match 2
Match Date Winner Score Loser
2 28 October France France 27–8 United Kingdom Great Britain

The British squad was shut out in the first half, while France continued the scoring barrage they had experienced in the second half of the Germany match. Serrade scored two tries, bringing his tournament total to five. Joseph Olivier, Jean Collas, and Jean-Guy Gauthier each added a try. No conversions were scored, though André Rischmann's two penalties brought France's first-half total to 21.

Britain actually outscored France in the second half, 8–6, but had little chance of catching up. Joseph Wallis scored a try while J. Henry Birtles made a conversion and a penalty for Britain. Reichel scored his second try of the tournament, and Léon Binoche added a try to bring France's victory to a 27–8 margin.

Medal table

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1900 Paris France France Germany Germany
United Kingdom Great Britain
none awarded




Great Britain

German rugby team at the 1900 Summer Olympics


  1. Hugo Betting and August Schmierer were guest players from another clubs
  2. The IOC and most Olympic history organizations refer to the sport played at the 1900 Summer Olympics simply as "rugby", though it was a form of rugby union.
  3. Die Gründerjahre des deutschen Rugbysports (German) DRV website – Foundation years, accessed: 25 February 2010
  4. Rugby Football History. "Rugby at the Olympics". Rugby Football History. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
  5. The scorer's name is listed as "Ludwig", but there were two Ludwigs playing for Germany. It is unclear if the scorer was Erich Ludwig or Richard Ludwig.


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