— Published 4 September 2023

Good figures from World Rugby

World Rugby can rub its hands: even before the start of the 2023 World Cup in France (September 8 to October 28), the oval ball has never been so popular on the planet. The body proves it with figures: participation is up 11% on 2022, to reach 8.4 million players in 132 national federations. In detail, the global rugby population breaks down as follows: 1.5 million unlicensed active players, 5 million participants and 1.9 million licensed active players. More good news for the development of the discipline: girls, women and emerging rugby nations are the main drivers of this growth. Nearly a quarter of participants are now women. And more than half (57%) of players in the post-COVID-19 era are pre-teens, 24% of whom are girls. The number of clubs has also followed an exponential curve, rising by over 30% worldwide. Finally, World Rugby explains that Belgium, Spain, Singapore, Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia are among the fastest-growing emerging countries.