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Top 5 Stories Of 2021: Rugby


Top 5 Stories Of 2021: Rugby

For the fifth part of the 2021 in review series, Ministry of Sport counts down the five most influential rugby stories we covered in the year.

5 – Super Rugby:

It was a historic year with the announcement of new 12-team competition, Super Rugby Pacific which will begin in February 2022.

World Rugby announced their approval of the new competition, giving financial and administrative support.

The new Super Rugby Pacific clubs gained some major partnerships with companies such as WAHU, Starlight Queensland and XXXX.

4 – Rugby Broadcast:

It was a major year for rugby broadcast.

The 2021 Super Rugby AU season saw a 144% increase in viewership, making it one of the most broadcast seasons.

France also saw an increase in viewership with the Six Nations matches having an average audience of 7.6 million views.

Nine’s CEO announced Stan, who holds major rights over rugby in Australia, as Australia’s largest reaching sports streaming service, with over 150,000 subscribers.

3 – Brain Health:

The story of brain injuries and concussions in Rugby continued to be strong as the approach to player health was majorly updated.

World Rugby made a major inquiry into concussion and brain health, a revolutionary movement for the sport.

Both World Rugby and Super Rugby Trans-Tasman league trialled eye-tracking technology to help identify, treat and prevent concussion in the sport.

Rugby was one of the first sports to trial this technology.

2 – The World Cup:

With COVID-19 raging through the world, rugby’s many World Cups was not immune.

The 2021 Women’s World Cup hosted by New Zealand was postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19.

World Rugby, recommended the postponement and later followed through after a committee meeting.

Yet there was some positive news, with Australia announced as the preferred host for the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby extended their partnership with Range Rover for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup announced a historic partnership with ChildFund Principle Charity.

The 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens also announced Kingsley Beverages as their official partner.

This will be the first time World Rugby has partnered with a charity for a World Cup.

1 – Finance and Private Equity:

It was a big year for rugby’s finances with multiple major investments into the sport.

Rugby Australia voted in favour of a private equity deal which will hopefully bring a large amount of wealth to sport.

The Six Nations received a £350 million investment into their shares, from major investor CVC after major consideration.

World Rugby also approved a $2.1 million financial package for the Pacific Island Super Rugby teams.

New Zealand Rugby also received a $465 million offer from US private equity firm, Silver Lake.

The deal was supported by New Zealand Rugby Players Association, providing a major financial boost for the league.

To view the rest of the 2021 in review series, counting down the top five stories of the year for all major codes and categories, click here.

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