Infographic: Rugby World Cup in numbers
With the Rugby World Cup set to kick off on 18 September, we take a look at the stats behind one of the world's toughest sports.
This year's Rugby World Cup will be supported by an army of 6,000+ volunteers, with 2.3 million fans expected to travel to matches across 11 UK cities. A further four billion people in 200 countries around the world are expected to watch the tournament on TV.
Over the duration of the tournament, host nation England expects to welcome 466,000 international visitors. It is predicted that these visitors will spend up to £869 million, which will help support 41,000 jobs and cover the cost of the £85 million spend on infrastructure, such as stadiums and travel networks, in the run up to the tournament.
Supporting your team doesn't come cheap, however, with the average rugby fan splashing out £325 on tickets. Ticket prices for the final match range from a 'category A' ticket at £715 face value, right up to a staggering £557,820 for the 'Webb Ellis Suite' hospitality package for you and up to 30 friends to watch in style.
'Constantly evolving game'
Veteran England second row Simon Shaw MBE once said, "Rugby is like a sponge. It's constantly soaking up knowledge from other sports and other fields…rugby is ever-developing."
This has never been more evident than in the increase in star player wages since rugby became a professional sport in 1995. Today, players such as New Zealand's Dan Carter and Australia's Matt Giteau are reaping the benefits of this decision with yearly wages of £1.4 million and £900,000 respectively.
Before his retirement last year, England's Jonny Wilkinson was the highest paid player from the home countries, enjoying a wage of £710,000 per year. England's Leigh Halfpenny tops the 2015 wage list for the home countries, with a yearly wage of £500,000.
Win a 2015 Rugby World Cup shirt of your choice
To celebrate the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup we are teaming up with Rugby Stuff to give our readers the chance to win a 2015 Rugby World Cup shirt of their choice (T&Cs apply). The competition will be launching on Friday morning so watch this space.