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Rugby questions for Australians
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nek Offline
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Rugby questions for Australians
I'm American and I've been trying to learn about the world of Rugby in my quest to understand the world of sports outside of what's popular here in the U.S. From what I've come to understand is that Rugby League is more popular that Rugby Union in Australia in terms of domestic competition. My question: In terms of International competition, which team is more popular/avidly followed in Australia, the Wallabies (Union) or the Kangaroos (League)? I understand that Union is more popular worldwide so I was thinking that although league is more popular in Australia, the Union team might be the one followed more since the world stage for Union is more prominent than League, as far as I understand (feel free to correct me if wrong).

Thanks

Civilize the mind but make savage the body.
07-28-2013 08:45 PM
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LooTa Offline
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RE: Rugby questions for Australians
(07-28-2013 08:45 PM)nek Wrote:  although league is more popular in Australia, the Union team might be the one followed more since the world stage for Union is more prominent than League, as far as I understand (feel free to correct me if wrong).

Thanks

That's pretty much it. There's not a huge amount of international competition in league, and it's really a foregone conclusion that Australia will win anyway, so what competition there is doesn't generate that much excitement. The state of origin series seems to be held in higher regard than internationals.
07-28-2013 08:59 PM
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Balboa Offline
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RE: Rugby questions for Australians
Yes, it's union. Outside Australia, in the expat and tourist pubs you will find Aussies packed into pubs watching international rugby union, but not league.
07-28-2013 09:08 PM
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T and A Man Offline
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RE: Rugby questions for Australians
The national RU team has more support.

Australia's dominance in RL has pretty much rendered the international competition (2 other nations, NZ and England/GB) as lacking any meaning.

As mentioned above, there is a sort of all-star game (x3 per year) called state of origin, which selection is based roughly on state of birth (there are clauses). As the game is primarily played in only two states, the game itself becomes best vs best.

The calibre of this game is seen to be of a higher quality than the few internationals.
(This post was last modified: 07-28-2013 10:20 PM by T and A Man.)
07-28-2013 09:21 PM
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nek Offline
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RE: Rugby questions for Australians
So what prompted the creation of League? Was it just an excitement thing (like how T20 cricket was formed)?

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07-28-2013 09:26 PM
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T and A Man Offline
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RE: Rugby questions for Australians
It was originally a split from amatuerism.

RU to 1895 put forward a face of being an amatuer sport, though not quite stringent. It was heavily biased by the English class system.

To 1895 in England, the most dominant counties had ended up being Lancashire and Yorkshire, and they had primarily been working class. Miners and mill workers.

They noticed that rugby club owners were making a lot of money from gate takings, and requested down-time payments, meaning that if a player got injured from a rugby game, that money from gate takings be made available to recoup a wage whilst recovering from injury, as they were otherwise unable to gain a wage due to being unable to work.

They central body refused, citing professionalism, thus a lot of the lancashire and yorkshire clubs broke away to form the then Northern Union. They changed their name to Rugby League in 1926 to match Australia.

The next move was in 1905 when a touring NZ RU side went to England, and observed RL. Some of the side formed the first NZ RL side in 1907, and also took a famous Australian, Dally Messenger, on that 1907 side.. called the "All Golds".

Upon returning, Messenger convinced a lot of RU players to form 'professional rugby' in Australia. RL started in Australia in 1908.

Rugby Union went openly professional in 1995.
(This post was last modified: 07-28-2013 10:28 PM by T and A Man.)
07-28-2013 10:26 PM
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