Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

More New Zealanders playing rugby by David Clarke


Community rugby is alive and thriving with a total 145,472 players signing up to play rugby in New Zealand – a four per cent increase on last year’s total.

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) has today announced its player numbers for 2009. The total number of players in 2009 represents an annual increase of 5,193 players registered with New Zealand’s 26 Provincial Unions (PUs).

One of the biggest increases comes in the under 13 age group with a six per cent growth in this area. NZRU General Manager Community Rugby Brent Anderson welcomed the increase as a positive sign that rugby is continuing to have an important place in New Zealand communities.

“Following last year’s small increase, this year’s four per cent increase is great news after a year of many challenges. The increase is a testament to the initiatives in the Community Rugby Plan and the ongoing hard work of our PUs to deliver the game to their communities,” Mr Anderson said.

“Opportunities are being provided for kids to enter the game via our Small Blacks and Rippa Rugby programmes and the kids are availing themselves of these opportunities.

“While players in the 13-20 year age group are down slightly (down one per cent), players in the over 21 age group have increased four per cent and this highlights the ongoing need to focus on teenagers given the choices they now have. The increase in players aged 21 and over is great news for clubs around the country.”

Mr Anderson was especially pleased with the 23 per cent increase in registered administrators and volunteers.

“A concerted effort was made to capture the details of the many people who give up their time, so they can benefit from Rugby World Cup 2011 ticketing offers and more than a 1000 have opted to do so.

“Rugby at the community level has had a very strong feel about it this year, reflected in the reports of increased interest and spectators at schools and club games and evidenced by the pleasing increase in numbers.

“What is important now is that we build on this growth to ensure rugby at all levels is strong, positive and continuing to give New Zealanders a great experience,” Mr Anderson said.

Better Rugby Coaching


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