6 Nov 2016

Record number playing rugby in NZ

10:52 am on 6 November 2016

The number of people registered for playing rugby in New Zealand has reached an all-time high.

Rugby ball

Rugby ball Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The number of registered rugby players has surpassed 156,000 people, up 3 percent on last year.

The biggest increase is in under-13 players, up 5 percent on 2015.

Women's rugby is also a growth area, with 22,000 now playing the game.

New Zealand Rugby head of community rugby Brent Anderson said rugby continued to hold a special place in the hearts of New Zealanders.

He said Sevens rugby and Rippa rugby - a non-contact form of the game - were also experiencing growth.

There was also a 6 percent increase in the number of coaches, however the number of referees was up only slightly.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs