Where can I find information and statistics about rugby?
Entry last updated: 6/11/23
Rugby is a team sport that is played on a field, using an oval ball. The ball can be kicked or thrown between players, and teams score points by kicking the ball over a goalpost, or by carrying it over the line at the end of the field. There are usually 15 players in a rugby team, but there are some versions of the game that have 13 or 7 players.
History of rugby
There are some great websites that you can use to find out about the history and rules of rugby.
This site comes from the official organisation for rugby in New Zealand, which was founded in 1892. It has lots of information about rugby's history here in New Zealand and in other countries around the world.
- Look under About NZR to read the Our History section.
- Also under this tab is a link to Policies, Regulations and Rules to make rugby a fair and safe game.
- Go to the tab Get Involved to find a link to Māori rugby to read about these programmes and teams.
- Under Teams and competitions choose a competition and then a team. This will take you to a team website which will have information about their players and history.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
Britannia School is an EPIC resource. It is a great place for learning about the history and basic rules of rugby, including the difference between rugby union and rugby league.
- Search for 'rugby' and select the rugby (sport) article.
- Change the article Reading Level tags at the top of the page to get more or less information.
- Select the Related tab to find links to other articles that might be useful for you.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
World Rugby is an international organisation that represents the fans, players and member nations. It organises major events like the men's and women's Rugby World Cup, U20 Championships and HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
- Go to the tab The game to find Beginner's guide to rugby.
- From the menu select Background to find a link to Rugby's history and ethos.
- Read about the history of rugby and watch the video about William Webb Ellis.
- This site also has a beginner's guide to rugby, the laws of the game and different versions of rugby, like seven-a-side and touch rugby.
Rugby in New Zealand
Rugby is a very popular sport in New Zealand. Use these websites to find out about its history here, forms of rugby and the various tournaments played by Aotearoa.
Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa.
- Search for 'rugby' to find the page about Rugby Union. This covers the history of the sport in New Zealand and national and international rugby competitions.
- Also explore links to Rugby league, and Rugby sevens and touch rugby.
- You will also find a link to Māori rugby — whutupaoro about the growth of Māori rugby in Aotearoa and women in rugby union and league.
Tips: If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
This is another good site from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage that has information about the history of people, places and events in Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Go to Culture and Society from the home page, then look down the page for the section on Sport.
- Look at the pages on Regional Rugby, Natives' Rugby Tour 1888-89, Māori rugby timeline and the 1987 Rugby World Cup.
- Check out the page on the 1981 Springbok tour to find out more about apartheid and why there were protests in New Zealand against this tour.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.
This is the official website of the rugby teams that represent New Zealand, including the All Blacks and Black Ferns. Here you can find out about players and their competitions, and keep up-to-date with news about them.
- Go to Teams to find who is on the current teams of the All Blacks, Black Ferns, All Blacks Sevens, Black Ferns Sevens, Māori All Blacks and New Zealand under 20s.
- Look under Stats to find fun facts and useful links.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!
This is the home for provincial rugby competitions in New Zealand.
- Look down the page for the latest news and video.
- Select tabs across the top of the page to find out about different competitions, their history, and fixtures eg Ranfurly Shield.
This part of the New Zealand Super Rugby website has information about the women's super rugby competition that started in 2022.
- Look down the page for the latest news, videos, and a link to the Fixtures & Results.
Rugby World Cup and international competitions
Every four years, the top international rugby teams compete in the Rugby World Cup. The winning team gets to take home the Webb Ellis Cup.
Check out the following websites to find out about the Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby, and the New Zealand Warriors.
This website has everything you need to know about the Rugby World Cup, including which teams are competing, and where games will be played.
- Go to Tournaments to find out about the last two World Cups and the next to be held in France in 2023.
- Use the About tab to find links to the tournament history, host nation selection, trophies, and records and stats.
This site comes from SANZAAR (South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby). It looks after Super Ruby Pacific, a competition between Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific countries.
- Go to About to find out the history of the competition and follow links to find out about the Tournament Format.
- Results & Fixtures has the latest game scores.
- The Media Centre has video highlights of recent games.
- Choose Teams & Tickets and choose a team to find out about them and find links to their official websites.
This is the official site of the New Zealand Warriors. The only team that competes in the NRL (National Rugby League) from outside Australia.
- Go to Watch for videos of game highlights, interviews and more.
- Choose Teams and choose a Warrior to find out about that player and their stats.
- Select News for the latest news.
There are lots of books about rugby that might be helpful for you. Check out your local public or school library to see what they have available.
Some recommended books about rugby and famous rugby players in New Zealand are:
- Rugby by Clive Gifford
- Rampaging rugby by Robin Bennett
- Bryan Williams: Pacific pioneer by David Riley
- Dan Carter by Dan Carter and Duncan Greive
- New Zealand rugby companion: all you need to know about the greatest rugby team in the world by Kate Lorimer
- Stacey Waaka: world champion rugby player by David Riley.
SCIS no: 1845848
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