Even if you don’t like rugby union, here's why the World Cup is great for the UK

The Rugby World Cup begins on Friday with England v Fiji at Twickenham and if you’re not excited then we don’t want to know you.

Ok fine, even if you don’t watch the game there is reason to be excited - Ernst and Young have produced a report on the economic benefits the tournament will bring to the UK, and they are substantial, as this chart from Statista shows.

If previous World Cups ring true, the biggest stage in Rugby Union should provide a boost to GDP in the hundreds of millions of pounds. For example, the 2007 tournament is estimated to have directly contributed £380 million to the French economy.

Some of these expected benefits will be used to encourage uptake and development in the sport, including £10 million in facilities for clubs and £1 million plus investment in newly qualified coaches and referees.

The RFU also hope to encourage 16,000 new players to take up rugby with 234 touch rugby centres across the countries.

Plus, who knows, maybe the next Jonny Wilkinson will be inspired by the matches.


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