South Africa opened its Rugby World Cup defense by coming back to beat Wales 17-16 and avoid the first upset of the 20-nation tournament in New Zealand. Australia and Ireland also began with victories.
New Zealand organizers of the Rugby World Cup this year are confident overseas fans will arrive ready to spend even as the nation’s soaring currency erodes the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar and British pound.
The 2015 Rugby World Cup in England will probably make about 150 million pounds ($239 million), a 60 percent increase from the 2011 competition in New Zealand, the head of the sport’s global governing body said.
MasterCard Inc., the second-largest U.S. payments network, signed as the final main sponsor of next year’s Rugby World Cup, which organizers say will be the biggest-earning event in the history of the International Rugby Board.