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Rugby in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts

The number of people playing rugby league has reduced in recent years with approximately 58,800 people on England playing at least twice a month in 2020. The participation in rugby union has decreased slightly from roughly 260 thousand in 2016 to 195 thousand in 2020, playing at least twice a month. Participation of children experienced minor fluctuations in the past decade with 5.5 percent of kids between the age of 5 and 10 playing at least once a month outside of school and 14.6 percent of 11 to 15 year olds playing at least on a monthly basis, either in or outside of school. Rugby union is governed by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in England, by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) in Ireland as well as Northern Ireland, by the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) in Scotland and by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) in Wales.

In 2019 the most common injuries recorded by the RFU are concussions by far, which is not surprising considering the violent nature of the game. The number of recorded injuries during matches by the RFU in England came to about 823 during the 2018/19 season.

One of the major events for rugby union is the Rugby World Cup, held every four years. In 2015 the Rugby World Cup was held in England; over the course of which, over over two million people attended. Other than the major income increase of the RFU through the Rugby World Cup, the income of the IRFU and the turnover of the SRU as well as the turnover of the WRU all gradually increased over the past years.


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