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Rugby in Australia

A ball-game akin to football, rugby was a game played by ancient Greeks called episkuros. Rugby is the third most popular sport in Australia, with its roots dating back to 1864.


The Rugby union in Australia is generally played at a professional as well as a recreational level. It is both a professional and an amateur game.

The game is dominated by first tier rugby unions of Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, and Wales.

Australia’s national rugby team is the Wallabies. The team already won the Rugby World Cup twice, in 1991 and in 1999. The Wallabies play in Australia's time-honored sporting colors of green and gold.




They are considered one of the leading rugby nations in the world, due to their victories at the World Cup as well as their consistently high world ranking for the season. Australia has been making a name for themselves in international rugby since 1899. They played against the visiting British Isles team on June 24 where they won their first outing.

They defeated the British team with a score of 13 to 3. Another favorite rivalry is with the New Zealand All Blacks. It is considered the ultimate rivalry for the game of Rugby Union in Australia. The two said teams compete for the Bledisloe Cup on an yearly basis. The largest crowd for a Bledisloe match was reported to have reached 109,874 spectators in Sydney. The Wallabies engage the Springboks rugby team from South Africa on an annual basis as well.

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Other rivalries that the Australian rugby team once held as such are games against England, Wales and France. However they are now considered less relevant and less exciting.

The excitement down spiraled due to the under-strength northern hemisphere teams playing the Australian team during Rugby World Cup years. In 2000, estimates of over 42,100 adult rugby union players in were involved in the sport in Australia. Majority of which belong to the states of New South Wales and Queensland which account for 82.3% of all senior players. The highest involvement rate is 0.8% in the Australian Capital Territory.
Each main city and numerous country areas support club rugby competitions. Of this faction, the club competitions in Sydney and Brisbane are the oldest and most esteemed.


Several organizations have been formed to help run and maintain the quality of the game. The New South Wales Rugby Union runs the Shute Shield, the highest game level in New South Wales. Queens Rugby Union runs the Queensland Premier Rugby competition which is seen as the top Brisbane club competition.

The New South Wales Suburban Rugby Union features six divisions, with more than 55 clubs and over 7500 players in the total rooster.



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