The opening game of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) on Friday will see host nation England taking on Fuji. This year’s event is expected to attract more international visitors than any previous World Cup. It is thought there will be up to 466,000 visits across the length of the tournament. These visitors bring with them significant spending power to the host nation, from purchasing tickets, accommodation and match day entertainment to visiting other local tourists attractions whilst here. In total it is reported that foreign visitors will add up to GBP 869mln in direct expenditure to the UK economy. The exposure generated by the World Cup will also provide opportunities to attract future tourists and businesses. In total the World Cup could deliver up to GBP 2.2bln in additional output to the UK economy, translating into nearly GBP 1bln in value added to GDP.
The benefits of this World Cup will be felt right across the nation as games will be hosted across 11 different cities and 13 different venues. From Brighton on the south-coast to Newcastle in the north-east as well as 8 matches being played at the Millennium Stadium in Wales, the whole country should feel at least some benefit from the influx of visitors.
Now … of the 20 teams taking part in this year’s tournament if you were to take their Net Foreign Assets (NFA) as an indication of how they were to perform you would come up with a surprising winner and loser (In rugby term’s anyway). Let’s call it the RWC/NFA. If we say teams that have an NFA below -50% would not make it out of the group stages and teams with an NFA of between -50% and 0 would get to the knockout stage. On this basis 2015 RWC/NFA winner with an NFA of +62% would be Japan. They would have met France in the Final with an NFA +6%. These 2 teams would have beaten Canada (NFA -5%) and England, Scotland or Wales (well the UK, we don’t strip the three out, NFA -29%) in the semi-final. Other teams that would get to the knock stage are Ireland (NFA -30%), Italy (NFA -32%), and the USA (NFA -34%). Now if Hong Kong or Qatar (NFA +276% and +263% respectively) were to enter the RWC/NFA competition, either would have won every game, scoring at least 50 points per game without conceding and be resounding winners.
So to the bottom 3 teams in this year’s RWC/NFA. These would be as follows, Australia with an NFA of -81%, Romania with and NFA of -83%, and by far the worst performing team in the competition is New Zealand with an NFA of -118%. For those of you who do fancy a flutter on the real thing, Japan can get you 5000/1 to win the competition and New Zealand, well they are obviously red hot favourites at 13/10!