Survey confirms international rugby grips the nation
5 May 2014 23:59pm
Forty-one per cent of the adult population of Wales have attended a rugby international at the Millennium Stadium.
A survey commissioned by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has concluded that more than half the population of Wales is involved with the game either as a player, supporter or follower of broadcast and newspaper coverage.
This survey has given us unique insight into the attitude towards rugby in Wales
It also states that 41% of the adult population of Wales have attended a rugby international at the Millennium Stadium to cheer on their team.
The survey conducted online by eightyone600, a sports marketing consultancy, sampling 1,152 adults, was commissioned as a benchmark study to help the WRU understand the unique position rugby occupies in Wales today.
It revealed that the Rugby World Cup holders, New Zealand, are the most popular opposition the fans want to watch play Wales, although Australia and England are both almost on a par, with Ireland also not far behind.
The list of Wales' opponents in order of preference for fans was: the All Blacks, England, the Wallabies, Ireland, South Africa, France, Scotland, Argentina, Italy, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Japan.
The survey also found that the most significant reason cited by fans for attending the Millennium Stadium was the atmosphere created in the ground, with national pride in the Wales team also scoring highly as the next factor.
While 41% of Welsh Adults have attended a game 30%, equivalent to some 732,000 adults, told researchers they would attend a match in future.
Half the adult population, according to the survey, are revealed to have some involvement in rugby either as a player, supporter or follower on TV or in the newspapers.
Price is the major factor of influence when it comes to supporters deciding to attend matches, with 50% saying the cost of attending is their biggest consideration when preparing to buy.
The survey found that across Wales 51% of the population, or 1.24m people, regularly follow rugby coverage, 20% or 488,000 people, occasionally attend Wales rugby internationals or other big sports events and, 6% or 146,000 people, either play rugby in Wales or are rugby club members.
The full detail in the survey document will now be used to steer the WRU strategy to enhance the relationship member clubs and fans in general have with the game in Wales.
The survey adds to a body of research within the WRU including a club census which put a range of community club issues under the microscope.
It found that 60% of clubs had been involved in a WRU initiatives and 88% embraced new technology with their own websites.
Some 60% of club had no long term debt and two thirds of clubs broke even or had a financial surplus at the end of each year.
Separate figures also show there are more junior players up to the U14 age group in Wales than ever before.
There are 53 Welsh rugby clubs with more than 200 junior players and 67% of clubs in Wales have junior sections with more than three teams.
WRU Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, said: "This survey has given us unique insight into the attitude towards rugby in Wales.
"It has provided us with some invaluable learnings and it is hugely encouraging to discover that international rugby continues to grip the Welsh nation.
"We all understand the challenges for keeping supporters engaged, especially in these stringent economic times, but the interest in Welsh international rugby is still phenomenally high.
"It is certainly interesting to note how important the Millennium Stadium atmosphere is to fans and we will continue to focus a lot of attention on making a trip to watch Wales a memorable event for all the family.
"Everyone knows that here in Wales we have some of the most passionate and knowledgeable participants and followers of the game and we will continue to work hard to support them."
The WRU encourages all fans to get involved in their local rugby club whether to play, coach, volunteer or buy a ticket to watch Wales. A reward scheme and priority access via your local rugby club ensures the transaction is in the best interests of both parties.
Wales home fixtures for 2014/2015 Dove Men Series 2014
Saturday, 8th November: Wales v Australia, Millennium Stadium, 14h30 pm
Saturday, 15th November: Wales v Fiji, Millennium Stadium, 14h30
Saturday, 22nd November: Wales v New Zealand, Millennium Stadium, 17h30
Saturday, 29th November: Wales v South Africa, 14h30 RBS 6 Nations 2015
Friday, 6th February: Wales v England, Millennium Stadium, 20h05
Saturday 14th March 15: Wales v Ireland, Millennium Stadium,14h30
The Welsh Rugby Union has announced a major new sponsorship deal with Gullivers Sports Travel which will make the UK's leading, and longest established, multi-sport tour operator, an Official Supplier for the rest of the decade.
Having taken part in seven World Cups as a player and coach, Liza Burgess hopes to go out in style this afternoon when Wales take on Australia in the Play-off for seventh and eighth place in the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris.
WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey met with volunteers across the game earlier this week, championing their role in the sport. He was joined by Wales captain Sam Warburton for part of the day as volunteers took part in a 'Try Out' event for the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Wales Women may not have got the results they wanted recently on the field, but off it they have made massive strides in strength and conditioning - and that is in no small part due to S&C coach Sam Dodge.
Two weeks into the new pitch project at Millennium Stadium, Groundman Craig Campbell takes staff on a unique behind-the-scene tour of the works so far and National Squad Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach John Ashby and Tour Guide Peter Owen describe what the revamp means for them.
Try-scorer Jenny Davies and fellow prop Megan York reveal to WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie their thoughts after Wales broke their drought in the Women's Rugby World Cup with a 35-3 win over South Africa in Paris.
Wales Women are expecting a tough battle against South Africa on Saturday as both teams seek their first pool win of the Rugby Women's World Cup. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie talks to head coach Rhys Edwards and lock Jenny Hawkins.
Wales' Sam Warburton took a group of employees from Admiral on a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium and WRU TV tagged along to bring you a snippet of what it's like for the players on match day