Aviva Premiership fans may think their appearance in the stands is inconsequential to the action out on the pitch – but according to Sale Shark Danny Cipriani they are significantly linked.
Cipriani, who agonisingly missed out on England selection last month, insists a packed and vociferous AJ Bell Stadium crowd lifts his performances out on the pitch.
"The fans make a huge difference, they are extremely vocal, and there are a lot of people who come to Sale that love the club and it has a real family feel to it," he said.
"You can really see the kids getting involved and it makes such a huge difference when the stadium is packed and the crowd are making a very big noise."
To sign up for Aviva First Timers click here
Cipriani's interview was part of a new campaign from Premiership Rugby and Aviva to welcome new supporters to Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.
Cipriani is one of 12 club ambassadors – including Chris Robshaw, James Haskell, Schalk Brits and Courtney Lawes – who are backing the Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers' campaign.
As part of the campaign Aviva and the Premiership Rugby clubs have teamed up to give away almost 2,000 free tickets across every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas.
And Cipriani is convinced the life lessons youngsters can learn from playing club rugby, such as team work, are crucial to their development away from the sport.
"I can't remember who my first Sale Sharks game was against, for me it was more about the pre-season and really getting to know all of the guys," he added.
"You really get to make a good team spirit and it's all really part of the camaraderie.
"The feeling of scoring my first try for Sale Sharks was a really fantastic experience; I enjoyed getting the points for the team.
"If I can score a direct try or set someone else up to score – that's the part of the game I really love the most.
"The great thing about rugby is you can share that love across the field – it's such a wonderful team sport."
The Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers programme will give away almost 2,000 free tickets across every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas. Fans are encouraged to tell friends and family who have never been to Sale Sharks fixture before to visit www.premiershiprugby.com/avivafirsttimers now to sign up for their free tickets.