Australian rugby league

It's the game that could change the face of international rugby league, when Tonga take on the world champions Australia in Auckland on Saturday night. A competitive performance from the Mata Ma'a, let alone a win over the Kangaroos, could go a long way to changing the international calendar and generating more high-profile games for all the Pacific island teams. For Tonga's coach, Kristian Woolf, the importance of the game cannot be underestimated. Tonga rugby league player Konrad Hurrell R poses for pictures with fans.

Australian rugby league

While rugby union commands a fanatical following in certain geographical areas and parts of Australian society, and has a long and distinguished history, it has failed to keep pace with the other football codes on a number of levels.

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There are four main, interrelated reasons for this. Failure to connect with new fans In the hyper-commercialised era of mediated sport, rugby union has struggled to attract new followers in substantial numbers.

While rules have been altered and new competitions national and international such as Super Rugby and the National Rugby Championship established, TV ratings have been disappointing, not to mention the crowds at games.

Australian rugby league

The ill-conceived National Rugby Championship has attracted a handful of spectators to most games and low ratings on pay TV. What also hinders rugby union are issues associated with entertainment and understanding of rules. Unlike the three other codes — where the ball is consistently in play and the rules are simple — this is not the case in rugby union.

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For sustained periods there can be stoppages due to resets of scrums, time-consuming kicks out of play and constant streams of penalties that stop the flow of play. This is notwithstanding the lack of understanding of rules — especially at the breakdown of scrums, where refereeing decisions can perplex even the players and commentators.

Not a national game Rugby union is not a national sport. Its support base primarily lies in NSW and Queensland.

Australian rugby league

While the sport was introduced across Australia in the s, by the end of the first world war its base was in these two states and in Sydney in particular. Generally, the national appeal of rugby peaks during the World Cup or Bledisloe Cup matches against the All Blacks and hibernates between these periods.

This is similar to the periodic pattern of support for sports such as rowing, archery and yachting at the Olympic Games.

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Australians are fans of these sports because winning medals brings with it international prestige. At the grassroots At the grassroots level, rugby union has not made an impact on the competitive youth sport market.

Low participation rates for youth aged between six and 14 highlight this picture. These figures are even more alarming because in the heartland of the sport — the private school system — AFL and football have emerged as threats, taking away prospective players. At Sydney private schools, substantial numbers of students play football and AFL.

There are perhaps two main reasons for this. This discourages a number of players — and their parents — who fear injury.

This has been exacerbated by recent findings related to concussion and brain damage.

Australian Rugby League for Genesis - GameFAQs

Youth participation in rugby union is trending south. Novices, though, are neglected. Since the rugby split — when rugby league emerged — a class divide occurred. While sports such as Australian Rules encouraged Indigenous and other minority group participation, and the A-League welcomed Anglo-Celtic-background Australians to the fold by de-ethnicising the sport, Australian rugby has been reluctant to broaden its appeal.

For many inside the sport, what made rugby union so special was that it was the domain of the players, and the players were the focus of the sport. It was about loyalty and parochialism. Many traditionalists have found it difficult to adapt to the modern era. It would seem that professionalism does not sit well for those both inside and outside of rugby union.List of notable or famous rugby players from Australia, with bios and photos, including the top rugby players born in Australia and even some popular rugby players who immigrated to Australia.

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