As one of the world’s most popular sports, rugby has millions of followers around the world, and it’s difficult to find someone that doesn’t like to sit back after a long day and watch their favourite teams fighting it out. But the popularity of the sport isn’t equal everywhere, and some regions love the sport so much that it’s become something of a religion to them. These are some of the places where rugby is just as much a part of the community as the local government.
Rugby – England
Even though the local teams in Warwickshire are fairly average in terms of international performance, the sport is an incredibly important part of the local landscape. The town of Rugby is a hub of enthusiasm of the sport, and is home to a total of six different rugby clubs. The people within the town have been supporting the sport since it was first conceived, and to this day they’re often the first people to board a plane to go and watch international events. After all, this is the town where the sport itself was invented, by none other than William Ebb Ellis.
Much like their English counterparts, the people of Wales are bred and raised on rugby, and while thee country only has a total population of 3 million, they’re also one of the most supportive of their beloved sports in the world, which is proven by the 300 clubs dotted around the region. Most of the players come from an area known as the Valleys, which is a part of the world where the locals live and breathe rugby. Along with New Zealand, rugby in Wales is one of their national sports, and it looks to remain that way for years to come.
As the birthplace of the All Blacks, it’s little wonder as to why rugby is such an important part of the culture in New Zealand. The founder of the first club in the country, Charles Monro, fell in love with the sport during his school years while in London, and would introduce the sport to New Zealand in 1870. Monro is often considered the godfather of the All Blacks, and turned the Nelson Football Club into the now famous Nelson Rugby Football Club. Rugby is an intrinsic part of the Kiwi way of life, and it’s nigh impossible to find a New Zealander that didn’t have a deep love affair for the country’s most beloved pastime.
Kolkata – India
While most of India tends to prefer cricket, Kolkata remains the exception, with the Calcutta Cup being the most famous evidence of this. While there are only 40000 registered rugby players in India today – extremely small in comparison to their total population – the vast majority of them can be found in Calcutta. It’s also home to one of two of the oldest clubs in the country, and remains a rugby-lover’s haven to this day.