It’s still almost a year away, but anticipation for the 2015 Rugby World Cup is already reaching fever pitch.
The clamour for tickets has hit record levels, with demand exceeding supply for 23 of the 48 games.
Almost a million Rugby World Cup tickets were sold in September’s general sale alone, from a total of 5m applications.
Those who applied for tickets last month will discover if they were one of the lucky 950,000 this Saturday - and will have the relevant payment sucked from their bank account on Monday.
Anyone who misses out will receive priority when the remaining tickets go back on sale at the end of next month. Alternatively, fans could look at online second-hand sellers such as StubHub, where they could face four-figure prices for a single ticket.
According to the Rugby World Cup organising committee, the England vs Australia clash in Pool A was the most applied-for match - even more so than the final. More than 650,000 people applied for tickets for the match at the 82,000 capacity Twickenham Stadium. That means less than eight per cent of applicants will wake up to good news on Saturday morning.
England vs Wales, New Zealand vs Argentina and Australia vs Wales were the next most popular pool games.
Debbie Jevans, chief executive officer for England Rugby 2015 said:
Demand has exceeded supply for a high number of our matches, and the only downside of such strong demand is that there will inevitably be some disappointment when rugby fans are notified of the results of their applications on Saturday.We would like to thank everyone who applied for tickets and anyone who missed out on tickets this time will get first priority when the remaining tickets go back on sale next month.
Of the seven highest-ranked teams in the world according to the International Rugby Board, it is England whose fans who unsurprisingly face the highest ticket prices, as calculated by a median average.
Each World Cup match is broken down into four pricing categories. When averaged out over four pool stage games, England fans face an average ticket price of £167.50 to watch their side play on home soil. Home nations Ireland and Wales follow with an average price of £125.
Despite the fact general sale tickets for the tournament have not yet been allocated, they are already being listed on websites such as StubHub where fans could face prices up to 400 per cent higher than face value.
However, it's still possible to secure a seat through official channels. Unsold tickets will be made available again in November, while hospitality packages which have prices ranging from £245 per person to £995 per person, are still available for even the biggest games.