Rugby union is minor but growing sport in Shaelia. It has been played in the country since the early 20th Century, having been introduced by the British. The Shaelia Rugby Federation, as of 2015, has 839 member clubs, and more than 174,000 registered players. Shaelia is designated as a High Performance Second-Tier rugby union nation by World Rugby, and generally considered to be of the same talent level as the United States, Canada, Romania, Georgia, Japan and similarly designated nations.
Nationally, the sport of rugby union is organized by the Rúgbidi Haueba Šaeleneiri (RHŠ), “Shaelia Rugby Federation”), founded in 1934. It is a member of NACRA (joining in 2001) and a full member union of the World Rugby (joining in 1989). Internally, the country is divided into 15 regional unions, each representing one of the nation’s holdings, respectively.
Domestically, Aviatau Rúgbiri (“The Rugby Championship”), known as the Puviniðu Aviatau Rúgbiri (“Provincial Rugby Championship”) for sponsorship reasons, and often abbreviated PAR (PRC), is the country’s top level professional competition. Formed in 1997, it currently features eight professionally-run clubs playing a 14-game regular season schedule from March through August, with a June break for international matches. PAR is organized by the Shaelia Rugby Federation, and is used as the primary feeder for the national team. Beneath PAR, each HRF (Holding Rugby Federation) runs its own respective competition, featuring member clubs from their region. Some of the more organized competitions feature systems of promotion and relegation through two or more levels of play.