Matt Williams: Why does rugby defy mathematical logic?

From team lists to six teams in quarter-finals, the rugby numbers game is too complicated

Connacht meet Ulster in a Pro14 quarter-final which isn’t quite a quarter-final this weekend. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht meet Ulster in a Pro14 quarter-final which isn’t quite a quarter-final this weekend. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

There are some deep mysteries in the game of rugby. For example, in other sports, numbering the team lists would seem pretty straightforward. With 23 players in a rugby squad, logic says, you would start at number 1 and list every player until number 23.

Oh no. Not in rugby.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.