“A stadium of four million people” was how New Zealand pitched itself in its winning bid to host next year’s rugby world cup.

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“A stadium of four million people” was how New Zealand pitched itself in its winning bid to host next year’s rugby world cup. Marketing hyperbole, of course, but it’s close enough to the mark. Kiwis love their rugby, which is just as well, because it’s become hard for them to escape.

The steady creep of an ever-expanding rugby season means international fixtures now begin in February and continue until November. “Rugby fatigue” has entered the lexicon. As the New Zealand Rugby Union’s commercial manager Paul Dalton puts it: “There’s not too many fans out there who don’t already have All Blacks’ gear in their cupboard.”

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