Rugby sport of choice in NZ

2011-11-01 10:03
Rugby ball (File)
Auckland - Over 145 000 New Zealanders enjoy playing the sport of rugby each week according to official figures released by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) on Monday.
According to the website, the total number of players signed up this year - 145 689 - is slightly down on last year (a fall of 1 204 or 1%); driven mainly by reduced registrations from Canterbury.

Over the past five years there has been a 3% increase in men, women and children playing the game. Registrations were received in the period between February to August this year so were completed before the start of Rugby World Cup 2011.

NZRU General Manager of Provincial Union and Community Rugby Brent Anderson said the Christchurch earthquake had been the main factor behind this year’s decrease.

“Canterbury’s player numbers are down by about 1 000 on last year and that’s understandable considering the tragedy of the February earthquake with the quake coinciding with the key registration period. Playing rugby just hasn’t been a priority for many Cantabrians this year.”

Anderson said he was very pleased to see the number of registered coaches increase by 2% to 11 018 and the number of referees rise by 1% to 1 953.


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