Rugby union football had been contested at the 1900 Olympics, and would also be on the Olympic Program in 1920 and 1924. It was then dropped from the Olympic Program although in 2016 it returned in a variant form with rugby sevens. Eight teams were invited to participate, but South Africa and New Zealand declined their invitations and Ireland, Scotland and Wales completely ignored theirs. Australia, England, and France entered but France withdrew one week before their match with England, leaving only Australia and England to contest one match for the 1908 Olympic title.
The match was held at the White City Stadium in Shepherd’s Bush, London, the main Olympic Stadium for the 1908 Olympics. Australia’s side toured England for three weeks before the Olympic event and then had an easy time of it, defeating England 32-3, for the gold medal.