Connect with us

Rugby League News

England Tonga attendance dwarfed by domestic rugby union

This past weekend was an epic one for English sports fans with the return of top-flight domestic football, England featuring in both the Cricket and Rugby Union World Cups and of course, England hosting Tonga in the historic three match test series.

For those with an interest in rugby league it was a far better weekend than either the cricket or union fans had, Shaun Wane’s side defeating Tonga by a score line of 22-18 to go 1-0 up the end of season series.

The 15-man code fared worse as they were knocked out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage despite the efforts of Wigan’s Owen Farrell, son of rugby league legend Andy.

Some of Farrell’s Wigan brethren were in action on Sunday though as the rugby league was underway with last season’s loanee Toby King opening the scoring, whilst the boot of Harry Smith helped guide England to the win.

Wigan is one of the few heartland cities not to be hosting a match in this three game series with Sunday’s clash held at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium, Saturday’s upcoming game at Huddersfield’s John Smiths’ Stadium, before the final test takes place in Leeds at Headingley.

Sunday marked the first time England had played since the mid-season international against France at Warrington, a game that had seen a disappointing attendance of just 8,422.

Thankfully Sunday’s game against Tonga eclipsed that with 12,898 turning up, however that’s still a concerning number in relation to other figures.

A key figure would be the average number of fans that the Totally Wicked Stadium sees week in week out when Saints play, that being 12,856, meaning that England saw just 42 more fans turn up than what the Red Vee averaged all year long.

In fact Saints’ play-off match against Warrington saw almost 1,000 more fans in attendance with 13,801 turning up for that game, whilst a peak attendance of 17,088 was recorded in round 15 when Wigan came to town.

Another worrying statistic would be the number of fans who watched domestic rugby union over the weekend with a whopping 17,719 turning up to watch Leicester Tigers host Sale Sharks.

That surpasses Saints record attendance for the entire 2023 season, yet union find themselves in just round two of their own season and having to compete with a World Cup.

It’s a worrying statistic, and it wasn’t the only attendance to surpass the England Tonga figure, with Northampton Saints drawing a crowd of 13,795 in their loss to Bristol Bears on that same day.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Rugby League News