Rugby union in Tuvalu

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Rugby union is played in Tuvalu.[1] Unlike most South Pacific islands, rugby union is largely played on an informal basis alongside football (soccer), which is the main sport played by Tuvaluans.[2]

Governing body[edit]

In 2007 the Tuvalu Rugby Union, an organising body for Rugby Union, was established with the intention of forming a national team.[3]


The Tuvalu Rugby Union organises a rugby tournament for teams from each island, and also selects a national team.[4] Tuvalu participated in the Rugby Sevens competition in the XIVth Pacific Games in 2011.[5] It is also a featured sport at the Tuvalu Games.

On the main island of Funafuti a rugby union competition is organised between teams based on the home island of the team members, such as the 'Niutao Sharks'.[6]

Tuvalu's main problems are geographical - its population of 11,992 makes it the third-least-populated independent country in the world, with only Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. It is also one of the smallest member by population of the United Nations. In terms of physical land size, at just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than the Vatican City—0.44 km²; Monaco—1.95 km² and Nauru—21 km². It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls. All of this makes a rugby infrastructure difficult to construct.[3]

Tuvalu’s close relationship with New Zealand and Australia, however, ensures that rugby union gets a lot of media coverage in Tuvalu.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Paradise in peril - King Tide diary". BBC News. 25 January 2008. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Lalua, Silafaga (10 January 2007). "Rugby Union starts up". Tuvalu-News.TV. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "In sports…". Tuvalu-News.TV. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Rugby sevens at the 2011 Pacific Games". XIVth Pacific Games. September 2011. Archived from the original on 30 August 2012. Retrieved 29 Nov 2011. 
  6. ^ "Andy Browning, I think we're going to need a bigger boat…". Andy Browning blog. Retrieved 16 December 2012.