It’s no secret that Rugby World Cup is the most sought-after prize in the game. It does after all leave the triumphant nation with the coveted Webb Ellis Cup in their cabinet for the following four years – and of course brings the admiration and esteem of being the best rugby union-playing country on the planet.
However, beyond all of this, there’s much more behind why this competition means so much to the fanbase and there really is a bigger picture to it all that casual spectators just don’t see. Here, we’ve explained more about this and detailed just why the RWC is so important.
It boosts the game’s profile
During the last Rugby World Cup in 2019, it’s believed that over 850 million people around the world watched it at some point and this figure is only expected to rise again in 2023. In addition to this, during the competition everything from sports news websites to blogs, social media, radio channels and tv increases their broadcast coverage of the game, opening it up to an even bigger audience. In turn this boosts the profile of the sport and helps introduce it to new potential fans.
There are economic benefits
For the host nation’s fans, there’s also the financial benefits that holding the tournament can bring. Analysis from Deloitte shows that the ‘RWC can deliver between £260m and £1.1bn’ in terms of gross added value. This increased income can then go back into supporting the national and local communities of the country, not just in relation to rugby union but on a social and economic level.
It promotes a standard of excellence
In order to qualify and then properly compete in the competition, national teams from countries of all sizes must be at their best. So throughout all of this, it incentivises the teams to play as well as possible and it promotes a high standard of excellence in the game, ultimately making the experience far more exciting and enjoyable for fans.
It opens the door for new talent
Whether it’s through injuries, wildcard inclusions or impressive form during the playing season, we often see new, young and highly talented players involved during the Rugby World Cup. You only need to look at Handre Pollard as a key example of this, as he impressed when playing for South Africa at the 2015 RWC despite being just 20 years of age – and he’s now considered to be one of the best players in the world.