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Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 17:04 UK

Doubt over Wales' 2015 Cup role

The William Webb Ellis Trophy
The world champions win the Webb Ellis Cup

Wales' hopes of hosting some 2015 Rugby World Cup games at the Millennium Stadium have been dealt a blow.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) announced England will host the 2015 event and Japan the 2019 tournament.

But IRB bosses say host unions must present a "compelling case" to take games outside their borders.

IRB chief Mike Miller said: "The vote was for matches in the host territory only. At the moment, it was just matches in England and in Japan."

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis said: "The reasons for holding matches at the Millennium Stadium are compelling and we remain confident the RFU plan will progress in full."

PREVIOUS WORLD CUP HOSTS
1987: New Zealand (co-host with Australia)
1991: England
1995: South Africa
1999: Wales
2003: Australia
2007: France
2011: New Zealand

The RFU must make its case to host any games outside England at a later date, with March the most likely time for them to do so.

Miller says the IRB have an "open mind on the issue", but would only accept such a proposal "if it met certain criteria that are in the best interests of the game globally, if it enhances the showcase and if it could increase the finances".

WRU chief Lewis had spoken of their hopes of hosting 2015 tournament games well before Tuesday's announcement in Dublin.

Back in June Lewis said: "The Millennium Stadium is recognised throughout the rugby world as one of the finest stadiums around today.

"Cardiff is only two hours by train from London and 25 minutes across the border from England.

"Most importantly, the financial model we have created with the RFU guarantees the success of the 2015 World Cup.

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"I am confident the IRB Council will fully understand the positive localised arguments in favour of games taking place at the Millennium Stadium and I will personally work as hard as possible to press that case so that Welsh rugby fans can enjoy the 2015 Rugby World Cup to the full.

"As well as its location the stadium boasts a retractable roof which ensures that the games will always take place in decent weather conditions."

The announcement of England and Japan's right to host the the 2015 and 2019 tournaments by IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset was widely expected after RWCL, the IRB-controlled company that oversees the tournaments, last month endorsed them as the strongest bidders.

The Rugby Football Union says three million people will watch the games live at stadiums such as Wembley, Anfield, Old Trafford and Twickenham.



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see also
England will host 2015 World Cup
28 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
WRU keen to press 2015 Cup case
30 Jun 09 |  Welsh
England set to get 2015 World Cup
01 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
England may withdraw 2015 Cup bid
30 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
IRB confirm 2015 & 2019 host bids
15 Aug 08 |  Rugby Union
England weigh up 2015 bid options
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union


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