The Super 15 tournament starts this week with plenty of plot lines to appeal to fans, yet teams and organisers are wondering whether the elongated seven-month-long season will test the patience of the rugby public.
In New Zealand, fans will have been inspired by last year’s World Cup win on home soil, while Australia boasts the defending champion Queensland Reds, and South Africa’s teams boast a fresh look and new promise.
The question remains whether those factors will be enough to sustain fan interest from February to August, straddling the June international window.
Fan support remains strong in Australia — particularly in Queensland — and in South Africa but in New Zealand ticket sales have been slow despite last year’s drought-breaking World Cup win. — Sapa-AP