RWC 2015/2019: Reaction

(RUGBY WORLD CUP) Tuesday 28 July 2009
RWC 2015/2019: Reaction
The Webb Ellis Cup, currently held by RWC 2007 winners South Africa

Reaction from the Unions and Rugby World Cup Ltd as the IRB Council votes on which two nations will host the Rugby World Cup tournaments in 2015 and 2019.


Francis Baron, RFU Chief Executive Officer

"The RFU, and every rugby fan in England, will be thrilled that we have been chosen to host RWC 2015. This is a fantastic addition to the UK's Decade of World Sport which started this year with the Cricket 20/20 World Cup and which continues in 2010 with the Women's Rugby World Cup, followed by the Olympics in 2012 and now the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

"We have made a commitment to the IRB Council to host the most successful tournament ever, building on the outstanding success of France 2007 and what we are sure will be a great tournament in New Zealand in 2011. We will not disappoint them. We will host a festival of rugby that will fill our iconic stadia with excited fans and deliver a global platform for the game. We can't wait to get going and would like to thank the IRB Council for giving us this honour."

Francis Baron on England's successful RWC 2015 bid

Lawrence Dallaglio, 2003 Rugby World Cup winner

"The world's best players will now have a chance to play in some of the world's best stadia and supporters can look forward to a feast of rugby. It's almost enough to bring me out of retirement!"

Will Greenwood, 2003 Rugby World Cup winner

"What excites me about a tournament in England is the opportunity to use rugby as a force for good in the world and the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. I have seen at first hand how rugby can change lives on an individual basis - now we have a chance to change many lives in England and around the world. It is a huge opportunity and a wonderful challenge."


John Kirwan, Japan national coach

On how he feels knowing that Japan will host RWC 2019:

"That is really exciting, it is a small vote from the IRB, a giant leap for world rugby and the Game is really going global and that is really exciting for me as a rugby player, as a rugby coach and just as a rugby person in general."

On what the reaction will be in Japan to the decision:

"They will be excited, I think that the Japanese people are very, very loyal and committed and once they understand that the Japanese Rugby Football Union has got the World Cup they will get in behind it and we will see real growth and that will be fantastic."

On what the decision will mean to rugby in Japan and Asia as a whole:

"We need to be a global game, I think there are two major decisions that need to be made this year to put this Game on the global map from a sporting point of view. One has been made today with the Game going to Asia, first time out of the top eight [nations], the top 10, to Japan and then the next decision which I think is important is the Olympics. I think the decision today is going to help the Olympic Committee realise that we are doing our best to open up this Game."

John Kirwan on Japan's successful RWC 2019 bid

Noboru Mashimo, JRFU Vice President/Chairman

On what the announcement means for rugby in Japan:

"We are honoured and privileged to be given this opportunity. This is the first time that Rugby World Cup will be played outside the traditional Unions and this is a historical meaning. We accept the historical importance of this event to be held in Japan and we will work hard to make it a success."

On what it will mean to the world of rugby:

"I think World Rugby needs a new venue and Japan is a new venue where also top class players come to Japan and find out a new area and new place to play Rugby which will lead to the growth of Rugby worldwide.

On what the next step is for the JRFU now:

"I would like to make sure that we have a more professional organisation so that we can stage international tournaments. We have a World Cup and we can stage top class international tournaments and matches in Japan so we the ability to host the World Cup so that is our next step."

Noboru Mashimo on Japan's successful RWC 2019 bid (Japanese)


Mark Alexander, SARU Deputy President & Bid Committee Chairman

"We are immensely disappointed but we congratulate the successful Unions. I am sure that they will deliver successful and memorable tournaments and we will support them in any way we can.

"Obviously, this is a sad day for us as we proved in our Tender document that South Africa offered the IRB the prospect of an outstanding event both from a commercial and development perspective. The choice between our Bid and that of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) was a narrow one but we respect the Council's decision."

Morne du Plessis on South Africa missing out on RWC 2015 and 2019


Andrea Rinaldo, FIR Board Member

On not being successful in their bid to host a Rugby World Cup:

"We are not disappointed, we support the choice that the IRB made, it makes good sense. We wish all the best to England and Japan for the organisation of the two World Cups. We are grateful, we will be treasuring the experience any how because it taught us a lot. We thought it was a good try, we did our best and certainly everybody told us we could have organised a nice World Cup so we will see what happens next."

On whether the processes involved in the bid will benefit Italian rugby in the future:

"I think it will. Actually when you enter a competition, we are sports people, we know that you may win or lose and much depends on how you behave. It is of course much easier to win than to lose, but in the end I think there is going to be a lasting legacy of this organisation. Looking ahead we developed some confidence that we might be able to organise major sports events like a World Cup, so I look with confidence to maybe future bids.

On what England and Japan as Host Unions will offer the world of Rugby:

"England is a certainty in terms of the solidity of the financial structure, the venues are outstanding. Japan is largely an unknown, like we would have been an unknown because we are not an established a top tier team. In fact, well one of the reasons I think why Japan was chosen, we must remember that they were left out of 2011 by the skin of their teeth, but other than that the Japanese are serious people.

"We supported their tender from day one and probably it might mean the development of the Game in Asia which is important. Let's hope that the Olympic Committee now opens up the Olympic Games to Rugby for the Sevens in particular. I think the message sent through Japan being host of the 2019 World Cup will be important and then the entire Movement will benefit from that I suppose.

Andrea Rinaldo on Italy missing out on RWC 2015 and 2019



Bernard Lapasset, IRB and Rugby World Cup Chairman

"I think it's a big step for Rugby and a new vision for 10 years, to continue to grow the the Game, to develop the Game and attract more players in different areas around the world.

"We had four strong bids, we received outstanding formats of the tenders from all four Unions and it's a difficult decision that we have taken because there are two Unions outside the decision, but we need South Africa and Italy to compete again in the future to promote new competitions in those countries. They are top Rugby nations, will continue to be I am sure.

"In sport we have winning one day and losing another day and we have to accept victory and accept defeat and I know that South Africa and Italy accept the defeat tonight."

Bernard Lapasset on RWC 2015/2019 hosts

Mike Miller, IRB CEO & Managing Director, RWC Ltd

"The IRB Council and the Rugby World Cup Board felt that the combination of England for 2015 and Japan for 2019 was the best possible combination for the growth of Rugby.

"A World Cup in England will bring in huge finances, which will help us invest in the Game around the world, stadiums will be full so it will be a great showcase for the Game; a World Cup in Japan will help open up new markets, particularly in Asia, which is very important so Rugby can be seen and played and enjoyed in many more countries around the world than it already is.

"Only 10 years to go until the World Cup in Japan. You may think that's a joke but actually it isn't - 10 years will fly by just as six years will fly by for England. There is a lot to do, there is so much involved in organising a Rugby World Cup. Forty-eight matches over seven weeks with festivals in major cities, so I'm sure those years will fly by and we'll turn around and wonder how it's already 2019."

Mike Miller on RWC 2015/2019 hosts

Kit McConnell, Head of Rugby World Cup

"First of all it brings certainty that the framework that we have for the next decade of Rugby will be basing Rugby World Cups both in Europe and in Asia.

"We have the balance that we were looking for between the hosts, in terms of the solidity and the strength on the commercial side and the showcase and full stadia with England, and then the development that Japan offers, both into the Japanese market and all of Asia, so it's a great balance and a great framework to move forward into the next decade of Rugby with."

Kit McConnell on RWC 2015/2019 hosts