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Sport - including rugby - is losing the battle with entertainment for our discretionary time and dollars, which could have knock-on effects for our major codes.
Today the Weekend Herald kicks off a new series looking at rugby and its place in our national psyche. Although top level rugby is humming ahead of the British & Irish Lions tour, Dylan Cleaver finds the state of the game at lower levels has become a cause of concern.
A general view of fans in the crowd during a 2011 Rugby World Cup pool game in Hamilton. Photosport
The sevens will go gangbusters in The Tron next year, not so well the following year and, if it gets an extension, will be a sad shambles thereafter. The unpalatable fact is that there is no appetite for sevens here... unless it is marketed as a two-day bacchanal.