19 Dec 2015

Sport: Record growth for rugby playing numbers in Pacific

10:53 am on 19 December 2015

The number of people playing rugby in the Pacific Islands has been a record growth this year.

Total playing numbers throughout Oceania in 2015, including New Zealand and Australia, reached one point one million.

The Get Into Rugby program was rolled out in the Pacific last year after being initially piloted in Tonga.

World Rugby's Regional General Manager for Asia/Oceania, William Glenwright, says the program helped to get rugby into schools, boosting playing numbers by 77,000.

"That's 77,000 kids who weren't having a rugby experience this time last year, on the back of some fantastic work by our member unions through the delivery of Get Into Rugby throughout the region. It's a combination of the development of a new curriculum and the up-skilling and restructuring in the development staff within the unions that's allowed us to achieve the significant growth that we have this year."

Rugby Ball

Photo: 123rf