Rugby and imperial history.

The table below struck us as interesting.  It sets out the current top 10 ranked nations in the historically closely related sports of Rugby Union, Rugby League and Cricket.

(For information, in football only 2 similarly defined British countries rank in the top 10, reflecting that sport’s much more diverse international character.)

At first look, it certainly seems to support the suggestion that Rugby Union’s historical development is deeply inter-twined with British history.

Rugby Union Rugby League Cricket
1 New Zealand New Zealand South Africa
2 Ireland Australia Australia
3 Australia England Pakistan
4 England Samoa New Zealand
5 South Africa France India
6 Wales Fiji England
7 France Ireland Sri Lanka
8 Argentina Scotland West Indies
9 Fiji Wales Bangladesh
10 Tonga USA Zimbabwe
“British” 8 9 10
Date 17/08/15 18/08/15 18/08/15

“British” was broadly defined as a British country, former colony or member of the Commonwealth.

Published by

Empirical Rugby

Empirical Rugby is a blog that provides fundmental insight into rugby union using empirical analysis of rugby data.

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