If you live in the United States, chances are your knowledge of Rugby is minimal and you probably have no idea the 2011 Rugby World Cup will begin this weekend.
When will the Rugby World Cup take place you ask? It begins on September 9 and will continue until October 23.
Give yourself an extra credit point if you can tell me where the event is being played.
I didn’t know either.
Answer — New Zealand.
Much like has been the case with soccer on the world stage, Americans do not know the sport of Rugby.
Its not televised.
We have not grown up playing the sport.
However, after quickly checking of my sports reference calendar, I quickly learned a few things about Rugby.
For this year’s tournament, here are the listings of the four pools:
Here is the American’s tournament schedule for Pool C
September 9, vs. Ireland 7:30 p.m. local time (New Plymouth)
September 15 vs. Russia, 7:30 p.m. local time (New Plymouth)
September 23 vs Australia, 8:30 p.m. local time (Wellington)
September 27 vs Italy, 7:30 p.m. local time (Nelson)
Now, if you regularly read this blog, Rugby is not a topic I often write about in this space. I wanted to measure the popularity of the sport in a popular place — Facebook. The Rugby’s World Cup Facebook page has 1.2 million fans.
How does this compare?
Well, the Milwaukee Brewers, with the best record in the national League, have less than 500,000 fans.
They have more Facebook fans than the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Page and certainly squash’s the U.S. Open Tennis effort on Facebook.