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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 15:30 GMT
Wembley added to RWC bid
England will make use of other major stadiums within Britain if it is successful in a bid to stage the 2007 Rugby World Cup (RWC).

The Rugby Football Union will use the new Wembley Stadium, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and Edinburgh's Murrayfield as part of its revised bid.

Twickenham officials were left with little option after host rival France offered Wales, Scotland and Ireland the chance to host matches involving their teams.

And the RFU has also agreed to scale down the extent of its proposed second tier competition that would run alongside the main event.

It is important we look to take advantage of the other resources at our disposal elsewhere in the UK
RFU chief Francis Baron

The RFU originally proposed running a 16-team main competition with a second division Nations Cup (RWNC) for 32 emerging nations.

English rugby's governing body has also agreed a compensation scheme for any countries that may lose out financially by staging the event in a certain 'window' during the year.

The RFU believes the International Rugby Board should make the final decision between any of three possible timings for the tournament.

But it is prepared to donate up to 20m from the surplus generated by the event to recompense unions for any losses.

It has also agreed to financially underwrite the Nations Cup event in 2011 to ensure the second-tier competition has a viable future.

RFU chief executive Francis Baron stressed that England's remains a "sole bid", but that it would be happy to use the facilities of the Scottish and Welsh Rugby Unions.

Commercial opportunities

"The principles of our proposal remain intact," he said. "It is a sole bid, which we will manage and be fully accountable for.

"However, it is important that we look to take advantage of the other resources at our disposal elsewhere in the UK.

"We have addressed the concerns of the Home Unions that we were not utilising their national stadia.

"We've now included a provision in our bid to negotiate their lease for use in the latter stages of the tournament.

"This will provide us with a number of excellent commercial opportunities, which will benefit the financial bottom line of all participating unions and spread awareness of the game."

The RFU expects the the extra venues to deliver an extra 25% in ticket revenues.

The other alteration to their bid, which is competing with France to host the event, is the introduction of a challenge round for the 2011 RWC.

The matches would take place in the host union the week before the RWC and RWNC.




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