In 1874 matches were arranged with Crewe, Congleton and Stockport consisting of 20 players a side. Only some years later were the Laws amended to make it todays 15 a side game. The first game to be played under the Rugby rules of football took place on the Boughley Lane Ground, on 14th January, 1874. Since Boughley Lane later became known as Bowfield Lane and eventually Victoria Road this first game probably took place on the ground currently occupied by the Macclesfield Cricket Club.

That first game saw a team under the command of H. Frogatt playing the 8th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers (CRVs) Athletic Club. Local ‘match rules’ specifically stated that “hacking ” and “tripping ” were allowed. The next game was another ‘local friendly’ between the 8th CRV’S and Captain Brocklehurst’s Troop of Yeomanry. The game was a long one, lasting from 3-15 to 5-30 p.m., hopefully not because of any on-field trouble.

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Northampton are up to fourth in the Premiership after a 44-26 win over London Irish:

test Twitter Media - Northampton are up to fourth in the Premiership after a 44-26 win over London Irish:

"See where the space is, and go and attack it!" "We did some of the game really well, and we did that for a long period of time." @SaintsRugby's Attack Coach Sam Vesty is positive about, most, of the performance against London Irish. 🤝 #GallagherPrem

🇦🇺 Back-to-back wins for @westernforce or a first victory of the season for @NSWWaratahs? Watch live: #FORvWAR | #SuperRugbyAU

LOOK AT SLEIGHTHOLM GO! 😲 A delicious ball by Rory Hutchinson to find the winger. 😍 The last person you want to see running at you over your shoulder 😅 #GallagherPrem

Some sensational technique on display tonight! Hassell-Collins' twinkle toes ✨ Matavesi's clutch hands 🙌 We really have been treated 😌

Piers Francis finishes off a sublime move from @SaintsRugby 👌 Keeping the ball, scanning, probing, finding the gap...and away! 💥 Great rugby! 👏 #GallagherPrem

The start of @SaintsRugby vs @londonirish has been so full-on! 🥵 Even Wayne Barnes has been caught up in the action. 😅 Surely a card though ref?! 👀 #GallagherPrem

When Alex Mitchell puts his foot down, he's gone! 😳 Great angle on the run from the @SaintsRugby No.9 🏃‍♂️💨 #GallagherPrem