IRB Announce Global Participation in Rugby up 19 per cent

April 5, 2011

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that global participation in the sport has increased by 19 per cent since the Rugby World Cup 2007 driven by the board’s investment and hosting strategies.

The IRB welcomed the findings of a major new study which highlights strong growth in participation, particularly across emerging Rugby markets.

The report details that in comparison to 2007 figures, emerging nations across the globe are accelerating in numbers of participants with growth increasing by 18 per cent in Asia alone.

In Africa and South America significant increases of 33 per cent and 22 per cent respectively have occurred. While participation figures are highest in Europe, non-traditional Rugby playing nations in Eastern Europe have also emerged, contributing to the 22 per cent increase seen across the continent as a whole.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “These are extremely exciting times for Rugby with strong growth and participation worldwide. This report, commissioned by MasterCard, underlines that growth is not just continuing, but is accelerating and is as prominent in emerging Rugby markets as traditional Rugby countries.”