Rugby Union actually has a lot more of a profile in America then league does. ESPN at least play the big internationals. Only league that makes the cut is State of Origin...
Well.. those are neat coat tails!
They don't even see the difference between the two codes, I won't forget the SF49ers Monday night game "Jarryd Hayne a rugby player from Australia" Nah, not even on the radar.
Def a great exploit;)
 
I've spent considerable time in America and neither code is understood and neither has any profile whatsoever with the general populace.

However, there is huge population so they can fill stadiums.
Hey LGoH, I would love to see League grow commercially in the USA. With your insights from time spent there would you say the general american populace enjoy collision/gladitorial sports? Where is the union foothold state side? With the UFC seemingly outgrowing boxing or NASCAR in America doesn't that show opportunities for new markets to do well are possible?
 
I spent a good 4 years in the States as well (In the great state of Texas!) and feel that it would be hard to gain a strong foothold there. But I do think one of the major advantages league has over union is its structured style of play that is similar to american football (6 tackles and 4 downs) rather than the ad hoc nature of union, which makes it much easier for americans to understand. But on the flip side of that Americans who have watched union love all the gimmacky features of union e.g. The lineout, the pushing in the scrums etc. But they find ins and outs of union hard to understand thats for sure.

Russel Crowe's profile would certainly help push things along too as it did when Souths played Leeds in Jacksonville a few years ago. I was there between 2006-2010 and it was very hard to find league on TV. Union was on occasionally on Setanta sports and one year they did show the NRL semi's (When the eels made their charge the finals...a lasting memory was my mates love of the name Fuifui Moi Moi!). The name rugby league doesnt help either, as they just blanket is all as rugby, and wonder what league the rugby team is playing in (if that makes sense).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johnnyray
Hey LGoH, I would love to see League grow commercially in the USA. With your insights from time spent there would you say the general american populace enjoy collision/gladitorial sports? Where is the union foothold state side? With the UFC seemingly outgrowing boxing or NASCAR in America doesn't that show opportunities for new markets to do well are possible?

I was in Florida when they were promoting an exhibition match between Souths and - I think - Leeds and all of the publicity was about Russell Crowe.

The opportunity for all sports in the USA is the large population - soccer is not on most Americans' radars but there is a professional league there because it only takes a small minority of people in a large city to be interested in something for it to be commercially viable.

It's similar with NFL the UK - not many people follow it but they get 90,000 people to games in London because 20,000,000 people live within an hour and a half of the stadium.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johnnyray and bruce

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
I've spent considerable time in America and neither code is understood and neither has any profile whatsoever with the general populace.

However, there is huge population so they can fill stadiums.
Well my brother plays rugby in Frisco and they have full divisions there. Maybe rugbys not so popular at the retirement homes in Florida :p...
 

bruce

Contributor
Well my brother plays rugby in Frisco and they have full divisions there. Maybe rugbys not so popular at the retirement homes in Florida :p...
It is a social game at the universities. After one of the world cups I was on a plane back to the US with a whole crew of rugby supporters. Totally in love with the game, drinking and bonking from what I could see
 
Well my brother plays rugby in Frisco and they have full divisions there. Maybe rugbys not so popular at the retirement homes in Florida :p...

Your missing the point - again - just because there are sports leagues in a sport in a population of 300,000,000 people doesn't mean it's got a following.

I was also in California during a rugby World Cup and agin there was no interest (and no mention in any media.)

To turn your argument around, rugby league is extremely popular in several northern English counties with a combined population of around 8,000,000 people - surely that makes it more popular than rugby union in NZ, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga combined?

Or is that just bollocks?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johnnyray

bruce

Contributor
Your missing the point - again - just because there are sports leagues in a sport in a population of 300,000,000 people doesn't mean it's got a following.

I was also in California during a rugby World Cup and agin there was no interest (and no mention in any media.)

To turn your argument around, rugby league is extremely popular in several northern English counties with a combined population of around 8,000,000 people - surely that makes it more popular than rugby union in NZ, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga combined?

Or is that just bollocks?
It makes it very popular but it is a cult sport, albeit the cultists are bloody good people. Rugby in NZ is a national sport by comparison. Even the most ardent league fan would not call league the national sport of Yorkshire and Lancashire, football is.
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Your missing the point - again - just because there are sports leagues in a sport in a population of 300,000,000 people doesn't mean it's got a following.
What I said was that union had a bigger profile than league. You and your circle may not talk about it but my family of over 100 in the States do and go to the games, Sevens and a lot play. They dont have league clubs anywhere near where they live...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johnnyray
It makes it very popular but it is a cult sport, albeit the cultists are bloody good people. Rugby in NZ is a national sport by comparison. Even the most ardent league fan would not call league the national sport of Yorkshire and Lancashire, football is.

Over a million people live in Hull, Wigan and Warrington alone.
 
It makes it very popular but it is a cult sport, albeit the cultists are bloody good people. Rugby in NZ is a national sport by comparison. Even the most ardent league fan would not call league the national sport of Yorkshire and Lancashire, football is.

I just googled it and less people live in Tonga and Samoa combined than live in Wakefield.