Diehard Wallabies fans have shelled out more than $30,000 each supporting Australia’s rugby team during this year’s World Cup.
While the six-week campaign has been taxing on the likes of Israel Folau, David Pocock and Scott Sio’s bodies, it’s nothing compared to the hundreds of fans who have spent almost half the average Australian’s full-time annual wage following them across the Britain.
“We’ve really been affected by our supporters,” Cheika said.
And so they should be when you consider the costs.
While fans could do the tour for a little over $7700 if they `slummed’ it in share rooms and did little other than attend matches in nose-bleed seats, those who have completed the full experience will have spent $33,576, according to travel company GoEuro.
The best tickets across the seven games will have amounted to $4978, while flights, accommodation, ground transport, food and merchandise have also been entered into the calculations.
And that’s before you even consider the money spent by fans looking for entertainment during the Wallabies’ 30 days off.
“Just walking around the streets, older couples who’ve come over, spent their money for a holiday and have come and enjoyed the games, come up and let you know about it … I get pride out of the fact that they are behind us,” Cheika said.
Given the distance between Australia and England is almost more than any nation in the tournament, it’s been little surprise that the Wallabies fans have been outnumbered at most matches.
But they’re certainly getting their money’s worth, according to lock Rob Simmons, regularly out-cheering other teams.
“You can definitely feel the support and hear the crowd cheering you on,” he said.
“The crowd noise has been unbelievable all tournament.”