Rugby Union: A Tale of Two Hemispheres

The sport of rugby union is a tale of two hemispheres.

The Southern Hemisphere’s top rugby nations are New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. The Northern Hemisphere’s most successful sides are England, France, Ireland and Wales. Southern Hemisphere teams have won eight out of nine world cups and have held the world number one rank for 196 months out of 206 (95%). Whilst both hemispheres have strong traditions in the game, the Southern Hemisphere is demonstrably the most successful and has the strongest legacy of success.

Why is this so? In this article we will use data and information to test, and draw insights on, six popular hypotheses in order to answer this question.

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Rugby Union: A Tale of Two Hemispheres

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