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The URC attendance record the Bulls are chasing on the cheap

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Jake White’s Bulls have slashed ticket prices to R25 (£1.30/€1.55) in the hope of setting a URC attendance record for the 2021/22 season when they host Ulster this Saturday in Pretoria. After two years of pandemic restrictions, relaxed rules now allow for South African stadiums to be filled to 50 per cent capacity. 

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This development has piqued the interest of the Bulls who are looking to attract the biggest crowd to a sporting event in South Africa since 2020. Their ambition is to get 25,000 in through the gates at Loftus Versfeld, a figure that would surpass the 19,419 benchmark set by Leinster when they hosted the Bulls in their round one game in Dublin last September. 

Rather than attempt to cash in now that fans are allowed back in large numbers to stadiums, the Bulls are selling the majority of tickets for just R25 with the director of rugby White leading the marketing drive to get fans back to live sport. 

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We hear about his early days playing in New Zealand before moving to Wasps and eventually lining out for England. He gives us an incredible insight into life under Eddie Jones and Pat Lam, why he left Bristol for Bath and his aspirations to line out for Fiji. Lots more including his introduction to Lawrence Dallaglio, his run-in with Ryan Wilson when England played Scotland and his England debut versus the Boks.

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Nathan Hughes – A Fijian Ferrari, Bronco Tests and Playing for England | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 27

We hear about his early days playing in New Zealand before moving to Wasps and eventually lining out for England. He gives us an incredible insight into life under Eddie Jones and Pat Lam, why he left Bristol for Bath and his aspirations to line out for Fiji. Lots more including his introduction to Lawrence Dallaglio, his run-in with Ryan Wilson when England played Scotland and his England debut versus the Boks.

He explained earlier this week: “We are hoping to get a big crowd. The government has given us the go-ahead to open up to 50 per cent of the capacity, which is 25,000 for us at Loftus. Hopefully, we will try to get those numbers up this weekend.

“Let’s make sure that we get 25,000 people at Loftus. I’m committing that we will make it start from R25 a ticket, and we are hoping that all the schools, clubs and supporters of rugby in the area will come.

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“I’m looking forward to seeing the crowd back. I don’t see a reason why this cannot be achieved. I have met a lot of Bulls supporters who have been saying they want to come to watch the team. I’m sure this will be a great initiative. If we can get 25,000 at the stadium, it will just show how much we love our rugby.” 

Hooker Johan Grobbelaar reckoned the reduced ticket prices would make for a ‘lekker’ vibe at the stadium. “We want to call on all the fans, near and far, to please come out to support us. The support really makes a big difference. There will be a lekker vibe at the stadium.”

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The Bulls are currently in seventh position on the URC table, 13 points the second place Ulster following a run of four successive victories. Since defeating Zebre in Italy on February 25, the Bulls have picked off Munster, Scarlets and Dragons in the last three weekends in front of restricted Pretoria crowds of 2,000.

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