In a season that has seen the Magners League competition continue to increase in profile and status, there was more good news on Wednesday when Celtic Rugby revealed that attendances during the 2007/08 season continued to improve.

Despite the early impact of the World Cup, like for like attendances at Magners League games this season have increased 2.5% on last year.

Average gates are also up from 6,011 last year to 6,791, an increase of 13%, while accumulatively there were almost 52,000 more people through the turnstiles by the end of round 18.

Director of Celtic Rugby David Jordan said: ‘In what has been a successful season for the Magners League which has seen Leinster emphatically claim the title and Munster reach the final of the Heineken Cup, the growth in attendances across the board this season at Magners League games shows that fans are endorsing the exciting style of rugby on offer in the competition.

‘Across European leagues, only Leicester Tigers, Toulouse and Stade Francais can better the average gate of the Magners League's best supported team, Leinster, who have seen an average in excess of 14,000 fans at each home game.

‘It has taken a lot of hard work by all the participating teams to continue this success story and as several of those teams realise plans to upgrade their stadia over the coming seasons, we anticipate building on these achievements in future years.’