how long does a rugby game last

how long does a rugby game last

How Long Does a Rugby Game Last?

Rugby is an intense, physical sport that has lots of running, tackling, and kicking. Many spectators and players alike wonder, “How long does a rugby game last?”.

Types of Rugby Games

Rugby is split up into two distinct game types – Rugby Union and Rugby League. Each has slight variations in regulations, but the length of each game remains almost the same.

Length of a Rugby Game

The duration of a rugby game is split into two halves that last 40 minutes each, with a 10 minute halftime break between them. However, there can be variation in the length of a game. For example, in international games such as the World Cup, each half will last for 20 minutes more.

Time-Keeping in Rugby

Time in a rugby game is managed mostly by the referee, who will keep track of the length of each game. The referee will be responsible for blowing the whistle to start and end each half, as well as timeout intervals. In addition, the referee will also add any extra time onto the end of a game they deem necessary.

Extension Time in Rugby

When a game has been particularly physical, the referee may choose to add extra time on at the end of the game as a result. This is known as ‘stoppage time’ and can be added to the length of a game for numerous reasons, such as injuries, or resolving a penalty or disagreement – in these cases, the referee will balance any extra time added on, to the time of each team.


  • Types of Rugby Games: Rugby Union and Rugby League
  • Length of a Rugby Game: Two halves of 40 minutes, with a 10 minute halftime
  • Time-Keeping: Managed mostly by the referee, including time added on in stoppage time

Ultimately, the length of a rugby game depends on the type of rugby game being played and the discretion of the referee. Generally though, each game will last for 80 minutes, with a 10 minute break in the middle.



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