The Ospreys were crowned Magners League champions last Saturday, which marked a successful conclusion to the Irish Cider maker’s first season as title sponsor of the league.
As well as success on the pitch this season, there has been success off it with the crowd of 48,000 that packed into Lansdowne Road for the ‘Last Stand’ match between Leinster and Ulster, the biggest recorded rugby union attendance in Ireland and the UK for a league match.
The competition has now seen sustained growth in spectator numbers, year on year, since the league was changed to a home and away format for the 2003/04 season. Average gates for Magners League games are now over 6,000 for the first time ever, and almost 90,000 more fans came through the turnstiles during the past year.
Celtic Rugby Director David Jordan commented: “Several of our teams are moving to new stadia next season, and with the prospect of watching exciting new signings such as Australian Stephen Larkham of Edinburgh and Springbok Ollie Le Roux at Leinster, we expect the gates at Magners League matches to increase even further.
“The popularity of the style of rugby we play in the Magners League is being confirmed by the ever increasing number of fans who come to support their teams.”
Maurice Breen, Marketing Director at Wm Magner, added: “We are delighted with our first season as title sponsor of the Magners League. The exciting end to the campaign reinforces the reputation the competition has as being one of the most competitive leagues in domestic rugby, and we are very much looking forward to more of the same next season.”