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Page last updated at 08:13 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 09:13 UK

Football grounds part of 2015 bid


England bid 'as strong as possible' - Dallaglio

A successful England bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup would utilise a number of football grounds.

Wembley would be used, along with the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Anfield in Liverpool, Manchester United's Old Trafford and Arsenal's the Emirates.

Details of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) bid were presented to the International Rugby Board on Wednesday.

The RFU is targeting ticket sales of over three million - a 30% increase on the 2007 World Cup held in France.

RFU chief executive Francis Baron confirmed the bid last week, stating it was "time we brought the tournament back to England".


The RFU's five-strong delegation in Dublin on Wednesday included 2003 World Cup winners Lawrence Dallaglio and Will Greenwood, plus Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Other football stadia to be used in pool matches also include St Mary's stadium in Southampton, Elland Road in Leeds, Coventry City's Ricoh Arena and Newcastle's St James' Park.

It is also proposed Twickenham would host the final, but for the group games Gloucester's Kingsholm and Leicester's Welford Road are the only recognised club rugby stadia set to be used.

Baron said: "In 2015, it will be 24 years since England last hosted a Rugby World Cup and we believe the time is right.

"The RFU is 100% committed to delivering an outstanding RWC 2015. These are turbulent and difficult times but we believe the bid we have put together represents a low risk but high potential return."

We can sell three million tickets - RFU chief

The RFU's bid includes a plan to play five pool games and two quarter-finals at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the venue for the 1999 Rugby World Cup final.

Wales will enjoy home advantage in three of their four pool games in Cardiff - plus another big box office pool match in the Welsh capital - as part of the RFU submission.

Ireland and Scotland recently pulled out of any co-hosting bid with the RFU, while the decision for England to make a solo bid comes after Twickenham's failure to stage the 2007 World Cup, having lost by a landslide margin to France.

England hosted the World Cup in 1991 along with Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France and former England captain Dallaglio is confident his country would provide the perfect stage for the tournament.

Other countries in the running are South Africa - hosts in 1995 - Japan and Italy, with bids to host the tournament having to be submitted by 8 May.

Japan, who had been favourites to land the 2011 World Cup, plan to host a pool split between Singapore and Hong Kong.

John Kirwan, 1987 World Cup winner with New Zealand and now the Japanese head coach, said: "We believe it is time to open up our great game."

The IRB will vote on the hosts for both the 2015 and 2019 World Cups on 28 July.

New Zealand will stage the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

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see also
Venues may hamper England's bid
13 May 09 |  English
England to bid for 2015 World Cup
05 May 09 |  English
RFU reveals World Cup pledge fear
30 Apr 09 |  English
Ireland opt out of 2015 bidding
01 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland pull out of RWC 2015 bid
29 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
Australia ends 2015 World Cup bid
20 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
England meet Scots in World Cup
01 Dec 08 |  Rugby Union
England may withdraw 2015 Cup bid
30 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
England weigh up 2015 bid options
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Scots look to co-host World Cup
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales confirm World Cup bid plans
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union

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