Samoa found to be the world's fifth-most rugby mad nation
Samoa is the fifth most rugby loving nation in the world, a new analysis of World Rugby statistics has found.
Sporting news site The Roar crunched World Rugby statistics on the number of club rugby players in a nation relative to its total population.
Samoa has some 12,000 registered rugby players, meaning that 1-in-17 members of the population are involved with the sport, the site found.
We rank behind Tonga (where fewer than 1-in-5 people are players); Niue (1-in-7); Fiji (1-in-7.5); and the Cook Islands (1-in-9).
The Samoa Rugby Union C.E.O., Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea'i, said the ranking shows that Samoa is a competitive nation in rugby.
“We punch above our weight considering we have a small pool of players to select our teams from in a small economy compared to the bigger and richer other Unions across the globe,” said Faleomavaega.
“For S.R.U., it doesn’t mean we cannot beat these bigger and richer Unions, we have proven it on the world stage before.”
Faleomavaega said rugby is Samoa’s national sport and that will never change as the game suits our physique.
“(Rugby) has also become a very lucrative career financially for those who take up the sport seriously as a professional rugby player.”
New Zealand leads among nations with populations that exceed one million people. About 150,000 Kiwis play club rugby from a population of 4.8 million, or roughly 1-in-32 people.
The figures begin to blow out when it comes to the hosts of this year's Rugby World Cup, Japan. Slightly more than 1-in-1200 people are registered club players there.