Beach rugby is a variation of rugby league that is officially maintained and governed by the IRL.

However, I don't seem to find any information regarding the invention of the sport, the Wikipedia page only lists its rules and competitions (poorly referenced) and the History of rugby league article focus solely on the traditional form of the game.

So, when was beach rugby invented and under what circumstances?

  • Are you specifically looking for the origins of the Rugby League variation? I ask as there are also beach-based Rugby Union variations which are officially supported by World Rugby.
    – ImClarky
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 16:37
  • @ImClarky yes, I didn't find out rugby union had a beach variant until posting the question, so I'm sticking with the league variant. Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 10:46

1 Answer 1


From the link @mepqfilho sent, I presume he is referring to Rugby League.

I did find info on the Rugby Union version and I presume that its origins might be quite similar being "word of mouth". There are three types of beach rugby union:

  • Beach Touch Rugby
  • Beach Tag Rugby
  • Beach Fives Rugby

On the Beach Rugby Channel it states it's been part of Rugby Union since 2010 and on BeachRugby.eu it says "Its growth in popularity has been successfully built on a ‘WORD of MOUTH’ basis for more than 20 years."

  • Thanks for the summary, it's terrible there are so few references on this topic. I did find out an article (www.beachrugbyfestival.fr/presentation/histoire) that mentions this union variant has been originally played in Australia/New Zealand since the 1960s, with the first European tournament being played in Biarritz in 1992. That does seem to align with the expected timeframe for the "20 years of word of mouth", while providing a vague notion of. its invention. Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 10:55

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