A quick guide to RWC 2015
A lightning fast guide to the next Rugby World Cup that takes place in England in four years time.
With the glow of New Zealand fading as it disappears slowly in the rear-view mirror, the mind starts to wander towards four years time. From stadium negotiations to ticket registration, work is already well underway to ensure RWC 2015 in England matches the excitement generated over the last two months as the All Blacks marched towards glory.
Looking ahead, here are some fast facts that should whet your appetite for what could be the greatest World Cup of them all:
- As of 1 November 2011, there are only 1,403 days until the start of RWC 2015, which will be the eighth RWC, and the second hosted in England.
- The first time England played host was back in 1991, when Nick Farr-Jones’ Australia beat the Will Carling-captained hosts 12-6 in the final. Several English venues were also used for RWC 1999, which was primarily hosted by Wales.
- Wales will be returning the favour in 2015, with the Millennium Stadium (where the 1999 final was played) confirmed as one of the venues. Other proposed venues include Twickenham, Welford Road Stadium, Wembley, Old Trafford, Kingsholm Stadium and St James’ Park.
- Cardiff will become the first city to be involved in four World Cups – 1991, 1999, 2007 (hosted four games) and 2015. Edinburgh, Toulouse and Paris all hosted games in 1991, 1991 and 2007.
- The format of the tournament will be the same as the one used in New Zealand. There will be 20 teams split into four pools and the draw for the pool stages will take place late next year.
- In a bid to ensure the fairest and most equitable fixture list possible, the Tier 1 teams have committed to playing midweek matches, meaning there will be proper breaks between games for the Tier 2 and Tier 3 nations.
- Host, holders and all nations finishing third or above in the pool stages of RWC 2011 have qualified automatically for RWC 2015, meaning that Argentina, Australia, England, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga and Wales are already assured of their places.
- With approximately nine million passionate rugby followers in England alone and about 375,000 expected visitors from across the globe for RWC 2015, competition for the 2.8 million match tickets will be understandably fierce, so be sure to register early to get yours. You’ll find details on how to register for tickets at rugbyworldcup.com in the next few weeks.