Sport England‘s Active Peiople survey has revealed that the number of people participating in rugby league has grown by 9,900 since the last survey six months ago.
The increase comes from all formats of the game, including Play Touch Rugby League and Tag rugby league, as well as 13-a-side in grassroots clubs.
The increased amount of summer competition means that the period of July to September has returned to average levels for that period.
“The latest figures are a recognition of the hard work of hundreds of community clubs and coaches, schools, colleges and universities, and the Rugby League foundations,” said RFL director of performance and development Jon Roberts.
“The numbers better reflect our own data, which shows that participation levels are positive and on track, and include a 50 per cent increase in the numbers involved in Play Touch Rugby League.
“We are particularly pleased to report the growth in regular play, as well as a 7% increase in the total number of games played in 2015.
“Our team and our partners, continue to work hard to give participants, both new and established, a great way to get involved in rugby league that’s right for them.
“Everyone in our sport wants to see more people enjoying the physical and mental health benefits associated with playing rugby league, as well as the great social benefits of playing in a team and being part of a club.
“2015 has been a strong year for our sport. With a great new era Super League season, an exciting Championship, a sell-out Grand Final, and the success of England Rugby League in defeating the world champions New Zealand, more and more people see rugby league as one of the nation’s best summer sports.
“Our challenge is to continue to use this inspiration to drive participation in our sport.
“Our focus is on sustainable growth. We will continue to forge new partnerships and support national campaigns such as This Girl Can.
“We will promote all the ways to get involved from Sky Try – the largest ever programme of Rugby League in schools – to Play Touch Rugby League.
“Our focus on coaching excellence and retention will also continue as we help young players start, stay and succeed in our sport.
“We look forward to working to working closely with Sport England and all our partners in 2016.”