25 Sep 2010

Rugby holding its own, NZRU figures show

9:18 am on 25 September 2010

Figures released by the New Zealand Rugby Union show the sport is becoming more popular among New Zealand men, women and children.

The report shows almost 150,000 New Zealanders are registered to play rugby this year - a 1% increase from last year and a 6% rise compared to five years ago.

However, there were slight decreases in the number of referees, administrators and volunteer helpers, which the union would like to reverse.

Despite the popular belief that rugby has suffered in competition with football and rugby league, the union says its figures show the sport is still a core part of the New Zealand recreational landscape.