1 Nov 2011

Slight drop in number playing rugby

9:30 am on 1 November 2011

The number of people playing rugby has fallen slightly.

According to New Zealand Rugby Union figures, 145,689 people played rugby this year, 1204 than in the previous year.

The union's general manager of community and provincial rugby, Brent Anderson, says the drop has largely been due to the Christchurch earthquake, which hit during the registration period.

He says the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup win should help boost player numbers.

There was a 2% increase in the number of coaches, to 11,018, and the number of referees rose by 1% to 1953.