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Interest high to stage rugby World Cups

01/10/2008 07:35:15 PM Comments (0)

The rugby union World Cups of 2015 and 2019 have attracted a record number of countries interested in launching official bids, the International Rugby Board (IRB) has confirmed.

Eight nations - England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Australia and Japan - have said they will tender for the 2015 event.

And eight countries have also expressed interest in staging the 2019 tournament - Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Japan and Russia.

Each union has six weeks to review in detail the Rugby World Cup tender document before formally expressing their intention to tender.

They will then have until May 8 next year to submit their detailed tender responses, before making formal presentations to IRB chiefs.

The IRB Council will announce the 2015 and 2019 World Cup host unions in July 2009, six years prior to the first tournament and 10 years prior to the 2019 event.

New Zealand has already won the right to host the next World Cup in 2011 with South Africa defending the title they won in France last year.

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "This strong response is unprecedented, and truly reflects the global attraction of the Rugby World Cup.

"It also reflects the significant economic benefits that accompany the hosting of a tournament that has grown in stature and prominence as a global event.

"For the first time, the IRB will award two tournaments at the same time.

"This provides longer-term certainty for the hosts, Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) and the tournament's commercial partners.

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