About Rugby

World Rugby

Legend has it that in 1823, during a game of school football in the town of Rugby, England, a young man named William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran towards the opposition’s goal line. Two centuries later, Rugby Union has evolved into one of the world’s most popular sports, with millions of people playing, watching and enjoying the game. At the heart of rugby is a distinctive ethos that creates a special environment and culture which it has retained over the years. Not only is the game played to the laws - a distinction is made to other sports that “only” have rules - but within the spirit of the laws. Through discipline, control and mutual self-respect, a fellowship and sense of fairplay are forged, defining rugby as the game it is. Rugby and its values builds character, creates strong bonds with your club team mates and teaches its players to never give up. From the school playground to the Rugby World Cup final, Rugby Union offers a truly unique and thoroughly rewarding experience for all involved in the Game. The ethos of rugby and the commitment to its traditions of respect, integrity, sportsmanship, passion and discipline contributes to its extermely positive image in the media and amongst its fans. It is one of the fastest growing and highly regarded sports in the world.


Facts and Figures

  • Active players: 7.5 million
  • Active countries:  120
  • World Rugby Unions: 102


Rugby World Cup 2015

  • 3rd largest global sports event
  • + 2.47 million tickets sold
  • + 1million in fan zones
  • + 470’000 touring fans to RWC
  • 120 million watched RWC final
  • Web + Social Media impact

    • 5 million tweets
    • 2 tweets per second of #RWC2015
    • 270 million video views
    • 25 million unique website views
    • 2.8 million app downloads app active in in 204 countries 

Rugby in Switzerland

Like neighbouring Germany, Austria and France, Swiss rugby is actually amongst the oldest in the world. The earliest recorded match in Switzerland was in 1869 and Lausanne RFC can claim to be as old as Blackheath Rugby Club. However, Swiss rugby continued at a very low key for over a hundred years. The World Wars and other global upheavals hindered the game and it was really the presence of a number of expatriates working in the banking industry or as tax exiles, who helped keep the game going. The Swiss Federation was founded in 1972 and they joined the IRB in 1988. The Federation has undertaken an intensive development programme since the 1980s and has managed to vastly increase the numbers of native players to the point that Swiss rugby is now dominated by home grown players. Most of the Swiss national team players have advanced to playing in the lower professional leagues in Europe. The Swiss national team is leading the European Nations Cup Div. 2A and is aiming to qualify for the ENC Div. 1B. Awareness, acceptance and popularity of rugby amongst the population is growing quickly in Switzerland. This has been helped by the increasing coverage by the media especially in the year 2015 due to the Rugby World Cup. The media in the German part of Europe routinely transmits a very positive image of the sport and they always underline the core values that rugby has in its ethos. It is a tough combative action sport within which their is a great deal of respect and fairness towards your teamates, your opposition and the referee. Traditions of sportsmanship are held high throughout all the clubs at all levels and the local communities are always happy to have a rugby club as an alternative to more traditional sports. The diversity of people within the rugby community is very wide and there is still high percentage of professionals and their familiy members from the international community in most of the clubs which contributes to the open and fun spirit within the Swiss rugby family.

Facts and Figures

  • Active Players: ca. 5000
  • Rugby Clubs: 31
  • Professional Clubs: Servette Rugby, Geneva 2ème Serie Lyon Region
  • National Teams:

    • Men's 15 Senior
    • Men’s 15 A
    • Men’s 7’s
    • Women’s 15
    • Women’s 7’s
    • U20/U18/U17/U 16

  • Leagues:

    • NLA
    • NLB Elite
    • NLB
    • NLC
    • League 1 East
    • League 1 West
    • NLF (ladies)

  • Tournaments:

    • Swiss Cup
    • Super Sevens
    • Juniors
    • Schools