Just ahead of the Rugby World Cup starting, it’s been ‘scientifically’ proven players of the egg-ball sport are more gentlemanly than their football counterparts.

Ex-England and Lions rugby international Austin Healey and former Premier League footballer Jimmy Bullard were recruited as team captains to test whether the adage that ‘rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentleman, football is gentleman’s game played by hooligans‘ is true.

Teams drawn from each sport were set challenges involving diving, being waxing and kicking balls at a crossbar.

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They were being rated on the following three qualities required of a true gentleman:

Finesse - 'A gentleman is appropriately characterised by the elegance of his actions, by the refinement of his mannerisms'

Courage - 'A true gentleman has about him an air of quiet strength and an ability to tackle any challenge with confidence'

Aura - 'A gentlemen must be able to remain calm under pressure, and never more so that when the stakes are at their highest'

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We can reveal the rugby team were the winners of Ladbrokes’ Who’s Got the Balls? experiment.

Watch the video below to see how they proved their sport ‘is a hooligan’s game played by gentleman’.

Austin Healey said: “Fair play to the wuss-ballers, they tried! I think Ladbrokes would have given you quite long odds on beating us at anything related to pain thresholds, we’re the ultimate gentlemen both on and off the field of play.

“Hopefully this will inspire Stuart’s boys to bring back the World Cup back where it belongs.”