The 2021 Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU season has proven a hit with fans across Australia with record-breaking numbers tuning in on television, at games and at Rugby fields around the country.
Anzac Round capped the last round of Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU regular season with the domestic television ratings up an average of 144% across the season year-on-year.
These television audience figures do not include those who streamed on Stan Sport.
Meanwhile at-match attendance has also surged with the competition seeing the biggest crowd in more than five years for the Round Eight clash between the Queensland Reds and the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium.
The impact is also being felt at the community level with a 16.4% surge in player registrations from the same time in 2019. This is largely due to the greater broadcast reach as well as dedicated marketing campaigns, further Sporting Schools integrations for Rugby, an increased rollout of Get Into Rugby programs and more Rugby Sevens competition opportunities.
Fresh from their huge win over the Reds in Perth, the Western Force will travel to GIO Stadium in Canberra on Saturday night for a berth in the decider against the defending Champions, the Brumbies.
The winner of that clash will face Queensland in the Final on Saturday 8 May at Suncorp Stadium, after the Reds finished the regular season on top of the table.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Officer Andy Marinos said: “We’ve been thrilled with the television audience figures so far and can’t wait to see it build over the next fortnight and into Harvey Norman Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.
“I want to thank Mike Sneesby and Brent Williams as well as the rest of the team at Nine and Stan for their enthusiasm and passion for Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU. If the regular season was anything to go by, we are in for a spectacular Finals.
“Despite the snap lockdown, Perth was absolutely buzzing on Friday night after the Western Force’s victory over the Reds, and they will be heading to Canberra full of momentum and confidence against the defending Champions.
“The increased exposure has also directly benefited our community game with participation up 16.4% from the same time in 2019, and the seasons are only just beginning around the country.
“The coverage has also been fantastic for our sponsors and attracted new interest from potential partners as well, not just for Rugby Australia but the Australia Super Rugby sides and Clubs as well.
“And this is just the beginning! There’s an action-packed six weeks of Harvey Norman Super Rugby Trans-Tasman just around the corner with kick-off on 14 May before the Wallabies Test season,” Marinos said.
The Brumbies host the Western Force in the Qualifying Final at GIO Stadium on Saturday night at 7.45pm AEST, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport as well as simulcast live on 9Gem.
Tickets are available from Ticketek.