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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Data reveals: these are the world’s most rugby-obsessed countries

Data reveals: these are the world’s most rugby-obsessed countries

Publish Date: 09/05/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Papua New Guinea is the most rugby-obsessed country in the world, research conducted by The Grueling Truth finds. As we gear up for the Rugby World Cup starting this week in France, we dug deep to find out the top 10 countries where rugby fever is at its peak.

Oceania well-represented

Papua New Guinea can rightfully claim the title of the most fervently rugby-obsessed country by a wide margin. The interest in rugby among Papua New Guinea’s residents outpaces the second-place contender, Fiji, by a staggering 21%. Oceania is well-represented in this ranking, with New Zealand taking the fourth spot. The Kiwis break into the top 10 of the most rugby-obsessed countries, just trailing Ireland, which is the sole European nation in the top 5. The current champion, South Africa, completes the top 5.

Just beyond the top ranks, we find the United Kingdom, edging out the host country, France, which stands at the seventh position. Namibia, Australia, and Sri Lanka also make it into the top 10 list of the most rugby-obsessed countries, following that sequence.

Global appeal

A spokesperson from The Grueling Truth comments: “The fact that Papua New Guinea claims the top spot among rugby-enthusiastic nations, surpassing even the traditional rugby powerhouses, highlights the global appeal of the sport. With the World Cup just around the corner, this diverse ranking underscores rugby’s exceptional capacity to unite different corners of the world through the spirit of competition.”


The ranking was compiled using Google Trends, which tracked search interest over the past 12 months for topics such as rugby, rugby world cup, rugby league, rugby results, rugby news, rugby match and rugby fixtures. The final list was determined by considering the overall interest level across all these terms in each country.

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