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StubHub Research Reveals the Most Multicultural Rugby World Cup Teams

StubHub
2019-09-18 10:50 1144
  • 17 of the 20 preliminary squads feature foreign-born players, with Samoa having over half (61%) of their players being born outside the country
  • The United States and Italy have the most nationalities in their teams (9), followed by Ireland (8).
  • New Zealand has the highest number of people playing in the World Cup, with a total of 91 New Zealanders (Kiwis) taking part. This is followed by South Africa and England

HONG KONG, Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- New research, from StubHub, has analysed the preliminary squads for the Rugby World Cup 2019 to reveal which teams have the most players from other countries and, in turn, are the most multicultural.

Rugby union is one of the most multicultural international sports, with many players choosing to play for countries other than that which they were born in, but which teams boast the most players from other countries?

The Teams

While 17 out of the 20 teams look set to feature foreign-born players, none boast as many as Samoa, with more than half (61%) of their players being born outside of the country, which makes sense when you consider the islands are home to less than 200,000 people.

The 5 Squads With The Most Nationalities

1-2.

United States and Italy - 9

3.

Ireland - 8

4.

Scotland - 7

5.

Japan - 5

The 5 Squads With The Highest % Of Foreign-Born Players 

  1. Samoa - 61%
  2. Scotland - 48%
  3. Tonga - 45%
  4. Japan - 45%
  5. United States - 42%

The 5 Squads With The Highest % Of Native Players

  1. Argentina - 100%
  2. Russia - 100%
  3. Uruguay - 100%
  4. Georgia - 98%
  5. South Africa - 97%

Team

Total Players

No. of Nationalities

Native Players

Native Players (%)

Foreign-Born Players

Foreign-Born Players (%)

Samoa

33

3

13

39%

20

61%

Tonga

31

3

16

52%

15

48%

Scotland

44

7

23

52%

21

48%

Japan

31

6

17

55%

14

45%

United States

50

9

29

58%

21

42%

Australia

34

6

22

65%

12

35%

Wales

42

4

31

74%

11

26%

Ireland

44

8

33

75%

11

25%

Italy

44

9

33

75%

11

25%

England

38

6

29

76%

9

24%

France

37

6

31

84%

6

16%

Canada

31

4

27

87%

4

13%

New Zealand

39

4

34

87%

5

13%

Fiji

42

3

38

90%

4

10%

Namibia

50

2

46

92%

4

8%

South Africa

39

2

38

97%

1

3%

Georgia

43

2

42

98%

1

2%

Argentina

46

1

46

100%

0

0%

Russia

36

1

36

100%

0

0%

Uruguay

34

1

34

100%

0

0%

Overall

788

30

618

78%

170

22%

World Cup Nationalities

Looking at the latest announced squads by each team heading to the World Cup, we see that just over one in five players (22%) at the Rugby World Cup will have been born in a country/region other than the one that they'll be representing.

While 20 nations/regions will be competing at the tournament, there'll be players from 30 different nations/regions represented, including the likes of Germany, Cameroon, Algeria and Spain.

Overall there are 788 players in the preliminary squads, with 78% of these native (618) and 22% (170) foreign-born players.

Nation/Region

Number of Players In The World Cup

New Zealand

91

South Africa

62

England

54

Argentina

48

Namibia

46

Fiji

45

Georgia

42

Ireland

40

Russia

37

Australia

36

Uruguay

34

Italy

33

France

32

United States

32

Wales

31

Canada

28

Tonga

27

Scotland

23

Japan

17

Samoa

16

American Samoa

2

Hong Kong

2

New Caledonia

2

Zimbabwe

2

Algeria

1

Cameroon

1

Germany

1

Guinea

1

Papua New Guinea

1

Spain

1

The Rules

World Rugby's eligibility rules simply state that a player can play for a country that either:

  • They were born in
  • They have a parent or grandparent
  • They have lived in for over three years (although this is set to be extended to five years from 2021)

However, certain countries do impose their own eligibility rules on top of this. For example, France requires players to hold French nationality, while Australian players based overseas have to have already played seven seasons in Australia and 60 games for the national team to be eligible.

The rules have often caused controversy, with Romania initially qualifying for the World Cup, before being disqualified for fielding ineligible players.

Methodology & Sources: 

Squad lists and the majority of nationality data was sourced from Wikipedia.

For the full list of data and other sources used, click here.

The most recently available squads as of July 31st were used, which were as follows:

  • Argentina - 46-man training squad
  • Australia - 34-man Rugby Championship squad
  • Canada - 31-man training squad
  • England - 38-man training squad
  • Fiji - 42-man Pacific Nations Cup squad
  • France - 37-man training squad
  • Georgia - 43-man training squad
  • Ireland - 44-man training squad
  • Italy - 44-man training squad
  • Japan - 31-man Pacific Nations Cup squad
  • Namibia - 50-man training squad
  • New Zealand - 39-man Rugby Championship squad
  • Russia - 36-man Rugby Europe Championship squad
  • Samoa - 33-man Pacific Nations Cup squad
  • Scotland - 42-man training squad
  • South Africa - 39-man Rugby Championship squad
  • Tonga - 31-man Pacific Nations Cup squad
  • United States - 50-man training squad
  • Uruguay - 43-man training squad
  • Wales - 42-man training squad

Logo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20190917/2582998-1LOGO?lang=0

Source: StubHub
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