Alex Sanderson believes that rugby union needs to maintain its appeal if it is to grow after the World Cup.

The tournament comes to an end this week as South Africa face off against New Zealand in the final. And the Sale Sharks manager is hoping club rugby can capitalise on the popularity of events in France over the past seven weeks.

Sanderson said: “There is always a spike in attendance at grassroots level post World Cups. There is usually a spike in attendance at grounds as well because neutrals want to go and see those players that have just played in those World Cups.

“It is about keeping people coming back, putting the product out there both through the media and on the field.”

Sanderson hopes that “putting the product out there” will be the key to the sport’s future growth.

The Sale boss is looking forward to welcoming his players back from World Cup duty. He said: “From the conversations that I have had, and I have only spoken to Tom (Curry) about his recovery period and Augustin Creevy, they are very excited to come back.”

A week on from England’s semi-final heartbreak, four Sharks players are in the squad for the third-fourth place play-off against Argentina tonight (Friday Oct 27) at 8pm, while others will be playing in the final for South Africa tomorrow at 8pm.

Sale travel to Exeter in the Premiership on Saturday (3pm ko).