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What are the Top 10 Rugby playing nations in the world? - Answers

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What are the Top 10 Rugby playing nations in the world?

Map highlighting top 10 Rugby playing nations

Rugby Union first originated in the 19th century in England. International matches began in the year 1871 and the first game was between England and Scotland, which still are amid the Top Ten playing nations. Based on running with the ball in hand, Rugby is one of the favorite sports of people in many countries. Here is the list of countries that hold a strong position in the game:

1. NEW ZEALAND
The New Zealand All Blacks, are the undisputed champions of world rugby. Awarded as the ‘team of the year,’ on several occasions by the IRB, the New Zealand National Team has produced many rugby legends, including Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, Grant Fox, Ian Kirkpatrick, Christian Cullen, Andrew Mehrtens, Tana Umaga, Carlos Spencer, Richie McCaw, and Jonah Lomu. An interesting aspect about this team is the display of Haka or Kapo-o-Panga, before every match which we could say work as their lucky charm!

2. IRELAND
The Irish Rugby Football Union was founded in 1874, and was also a founding member or the IRB. The Irish rugby team has been home to some of the world’s top players, including Brian O’Driscoll, who is Ireland’s top scorer and considered the best center in world rugby.

3. ENGLAND
England has been considered as the nation which produces some of the best sides in the world. Though not many of late, the team has produced many legends in the past, such as Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson, who is the top point scorer in rugby world cup history.

4. AUSTRALIA
Wallabies as they are known, The Australian Rugby Union Team was one of the founders of the Rugby World Cup, and shared the first tournament with New Zealand in 1987. Showing excellence in ball retention, the team is also known for giving other national teams a tough defense.

5. SCOTLAND
The oldest of the lot, the Scottish Rugby Union, was founded in 1873. It was also a founding member of the IRB and participated in the first international match against England, where Scotland won 4-1. As a ritual, Scottish rugby players are selected every four years to play for the Barbarians against other national teams.

6. SOUTH AFRICA
The South Africa National Team, nicknamed the ‘Springboks,’ faced harsh Apartheid Laws and were unable to participate in the first two Rugby World Cups. But in 1995, the team witnessed a change when they hosted the third Rugby World Cup, and defeated New Zealand in the finals. Making South Africa the second nation to have won the world cup twice, the Springboks teams uses all facets and techniques such as running, kicking, passing, and forward drives in their game.

7. WALES
Producing some of the best rugby players in history, the Walsh National Rugby team played their first test match against England in 1881. Some well-known Welsh Rugby players are J.P.R Williams, Gerald Davies, and Gareth Edwards. Known for their sidestepping technique, the Wales team also competes in the Six Nations tournament every year.

8. FRANCE
Labeled as the best in the European, the French National Rugby Team participates in the ‘Six Nations’ tournament every year. The French have competed in every world cup, and have made it to more finals than any other team. The most famous of which was in 1999, France vs. New Zealand, where they made it to the semi-finals.

9. ARGENTINA
Ranked as the best team in the America, Los Pumas, as they are known, The Argentina National Rugby team has grown a following due to their great success in the Rugby World Cups. Boasting of an outstanding forward pack and some interesting backline passing, the team has made it to the top ten rugby playing nations in the world.

10. FIJI
The national Fiji Rugby Team, which is a part of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance, participated in the 1987 World Cup and qualified for the quarter-finals where it lost to France. With an outstanding rugby sevens team, Fiji plays its game with immense excitement and a lot of running.

Here is the table depicting their ranking, as of May, 2018. 

RANK COUNTRY TEAM NAME POINTS
1 New Zealand All Blacks 93.99
2 Ireland Ireland Rugby Union Team 89.11
3 England England National Rugby Union Team 86.23
4 Australia Wallabies 85.49
5 Scotland Scotland National Rugby Union Team 83.83
6 South Africa Springboks 83.81
7 Wales Wales National Rugby Union Team 83.41
8 France France National Rugby Union Ream 79.10
9 Argentina Argentina National Rugby Team 78.22
10 Fiji Fiji National Rugby Union Team 77.93

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