PILA group® explains the difference between goal posts used for rugby league and rugby union games.

Though both sports share a common origin, rugby league and rugby union have evolved into distinct forms in the 120 years since their split. An outsider may find it difficult to distinguish between the two sports; however, there are enough differences to make rugby union and rugby league incompatible for any easy merger.

The size of the goal posts used in each sport is a key difference. While both codes use 15m high goal posts for the premier levels of competition with the top edge of the crossbar exactly 3m from the ground, the length of the crossbar and therefore, the distance between the goal posts differ. According to the NRL’s Laws of the Game, rugby league goal posts stand 5.5m apart and the ARU stipulates that rugby union goal posts are 5.6m apart. The goal posts are identical in all other respects.

However, this variation is not a concern since both games are often played on the same field, which is fitted out for one or the other. Fields that have an exclusive field for the sport are required to meet the standard.