Rugby League Around the World: Exploring Its Popularity and Development in Other Countries

Rugby is one of the most well-known sports in the world, thanks to its widespread popularity both in terms of sport, and its appearance in mainstream media such as movies and TV shows. Most popular in England, it still influences the world and manages to attract new players and fans.

In this article, we’ll see how popular Rugby is in different parts of the world, and its overall timeline of development from its inception until today. Even though it’s widely popular, it still hasn’t managed to take over the other more popular sports in terms of fan base and following, but that doesn’t mean it cannot change shortly.

It was created in 1823 when a young fellow named William Webb Ellies picked up a ball, and ran with it tightly hugging it with his arms during a football game at his school. You could say that a sport invented accidentally has become one of the most famous sports around the globe.

Can You Bet On Rugby?

Before we dive deeper into the popularity of rugby around the world, let’s take a look at whether Rugby betting can offer a fun and exciting time for new and existing punters. Just like every other sport, Rugby is closely followed by online bookies, and bets can be placed on different Rugby leagues.

If you are in search of a new online bookie, many have great offers for new customers. There are amazing free bet offers you can take advantage of especially if you live in the UK, as rugby is one of the most popular sports there.

Be sure to take a look at the offers available at the link above, and make a choice that suits your betting style the best. There is something for everyone. 

Do A Lot Of People Play Rugby?

If we take a look at some numbers of registered rugby players, we can see that it is indeed a fairly popular sport. It still cannot compete with most mainstream sports that have a bigger traditional and social media coverage, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t popular.

Currently, there are approximately 6.6 million registered rugby players around the world. With England and Ireland being the nations that love rugby the most, the total number of registered rugby players is almost 2 million larger than Ireland, the nation where rugby is most popular.

Overall, the UK is absolutely leading the rugby numbers in terms of its fanbase and sports-related activities. However, England could be seeing an overall decline in quality in terms of performance at the moment.

Where Is Rugby Most Popular?

We can easily deduct where rugby leagues are most popular by taking a look at the social media following for every national team in countries where rugby is played. In terms of Social Media following, England is leading the way with its national rugby team having over 1 million followers just on social media.

We can assume that the following in total on all channels is much larger that the social media figures alone. Following England, New Zealand is the place where rugby is most popular a number hovering around 1 million when Social Media following is taken into consideration.

With 808.000 Ireland is in third place. However, even though France is fifth in Social Media following, the total viewership overall has skyrocketed to approximately 500.000 viewers per game which is a huge number. 

France has also seen their national team perform well against countries where rugby has been a traditional sport for decades or even longer. This overall will be good for the health of the sport, as more teams enter different competitions. 

It looks like rugby might be on the way to taking its place in the hearts of European viewers if more countries in your follow France’s suit. Still, only time will tell how rugby will continue developing as time goes on.

France also has seen a lot of players register to play in their clubs with over 360.000 players recently registered to take part in different rugby leagues around France. New Zealand is second in popularity when it comes to the number of registered players. 

England follows suit in third place with around 138,000 registered players and it’s interesting to see Ireland sitting at 21,000 which is a relatively low number, taking into consideration how popular rugby is overall in Ireland. There are also rugby leagues in Fiji, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka apart from other Pacific and European countries where rugby was more popular over the years.

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