Records fall as RWC pools reach halfway

30 Sep 2015

By: Sport Industry Group

World Rugby, the global governing body of the sport, has reported “unprecedented” engagement across the opening phase of the tournament, with total match attendance already approaching the one million mark.

Official Fanzones have often been full to capacity – with 378,000 visitors so far - and #RWC2015 has trended globally on all match days, while TV viewing figures have also reached record levels.

Rugby World Cup 2015 is on track to be the biggest Rugby World Cup ever, and the total match attendance figure to date has reached 972,921 - at 94.51% capacity - including two record-breaking attendances at Wembley.

89,267 fans attended the Ireland v Romania match at Wembley Stadium, surpassing the previous weekend's record Rugby World Cup crowd of 89,019.

Rugby World Cup Limited has confirmed the tournament has attracted some of the highest broadcast audience figures around the globe, including in Japan, the host nation for Rugby World Cup 2019. Following Japan's unlikely victory over two-time champions South Africa (pictured above), the 20 million-strong audience in Japan for their next game against Scotland represents the second-highest ever national TV audience in Rugby World Cup history, behind the 20.7million viewership for the Rugby World Cup 2007 France v England semi-final.

In the UK, a peak audience of 9.4 million UK viewers tuned in to ITV's coverage of the Rugby World Cup 2015 opening ceremony and kick-off match between Fiji and England, while an average of 10.4 million viewers watched Wales win at Twickenham, the largest rugby audience in the UK since the 2007 final.

Overall, social media activity is on track to surpass the total volume achieved across the whole of New Zealand 2011 by the end of this weekend.

World Rugby chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said: "Rugby World Cup 2015 is proving to be a very special and record-breaking global celebration of rugby that has fan experience at heart. This is already the most talked about rugby event ever on social media and the most talked about sporting event of 2015 in the UK, and there is no doubt that the unforgettable moments are inspiring new audiences around the world to get active and get into rugby.”

England Rugby 2015 managing director, Stephen Brown, added: "We're delighted that fans new and old have taken Rugby World Cup 2015 to their hearts, and are embracing all the excitement, drama and passion that comes with hosting such an exciting world-class event on home soil. We are thrilled to secure two Rugby World Cup record breaking attendances within the first two weeks of the tournament and approach a total of one million fans enjoying such compelling rugby in our match venues.

“There is a true celebration of rugby taking place across the country, and to see nearly 400,000 fans pass through our Fanzones on matchdays and non-matchdays, really reflects the reach of this event. We're confident that this is just the start and with a limited number of tickets for some great matches still on sale at fans can still be part of the action.”

Image: ©Getty Images