The Rugby League community is a multicultural one, reflecting the diversity of modern Australia. Historically, Rugby League attracted players with English, Irish and Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
Later the code attracted players whose parents and grandparents came from Lebanon, Italy, Greece and Malta. Jump forward to today and registered NRL players listed 116 nations as their place of birth, while their parents and grandparents were born in 144 countries.
In recent times, players with Pasifika backgrounds are increasingly reflected in rugby league ranks. In 2011, 30 per cent of contracted NRL players had cultural backgrounds from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the Cook Islands. Today 45 per cent of NRL players have Pasifika heritage. An Independent Pasifika Council provides advice to the NRL on the NRL’s Pasifika strategy, with an evolving focus on a range of areas including social and community outcomes.
Please download our Multicultural Fact Sheet for further information.