Stuart Barnes says pubs can benefit from boost of Rugby World Cup

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags World cup Rugby world cup United kingdom Rugby

Stuart Barnes wants pubs to make the most of upcoming rugby coverage
Stuart Barnes wants pubs to make the most of upcoming rugby coverage
Rugby commentator Stuart Barnes has said the World Cup presents a great opportunity for the country’s pubs.

The former England and Lions international, and now Sky Sports commentator, said publicans should be looking to capitalise on the buzz generated by next year’s tournament being held in the UK in September and October next year.

He said: “Rugby is never going to challenge the popularity of football but there is a real excitement in the air at the moment and pubs have the chance over the next year to make the most of that.”

Barnes was talking on the back of fixture lists being released for both Sky Sports and BT Sport’s rugby coverage.

The broadcasters are sharing rights to screen the new European Rugby Champions Cup – the replacement for the Heineken Cup.


Sky kicks off its rugby coverage on Saturday (6 September) with the Guiness Pro 12 clashes between Scarlets and Ulster and Glasgow Warriors v Leinster.

Barnes said: “Pubs that can attract the rugby crowd now are bound to reap the rewards of the World Cup next year as well as having that dedicated customer base who love great beer and great rugby.”

The former fly-off, who has a Bath Ales brew - Barnsey - named after him, also advised pubs not to overlook the growing popularity of the women's game.

He said: "The quality of the play has improved so much over the past decade - it's been a real turnaround and now you can see some terrific matches. It's attracting a whole new audience, which is great for rugby and can be great for pubs too."

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