England eyes 2015 Rugby World Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England eyes 2015 Rugby World Cup

By Julian Guyer 27/07/2009 09:16:30 PM Comments (0)

England, the country that gave birth to rugby union, is in line to be awarded the right to stage the sport's 2015 World Cup when the International Rugby Board (IRB) Council meets in Dublin on Tuesday.

Unlike previous World Cup announcements, this one should not be quite so much of a surprise given that Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) last month nominated England as its favoured candidate for 2015 and Japan for 2019.

However, officials at England's Rugby Football Union (RFU) will not be taking anything for granted given the last-ditch deals which have been a part of previous bids.

RWCL, which runs the tournament, chose England, ahead of rival candidates South Africa and Italy, as its preferred option for 2015 after consulting television and sponsorship experts.

So it would leave the IRB Council with a tricky and embarrassing problem if they decided not to follow that recommendation.

England need 14 votes from the IRB Council to be sure of becoming the hosts in 2015.

However, the 24-man IRB Council is not a 'one-man, one-vote' organisation. Major unions such as England have two votes. They can certainly bank on support from Wales, whose Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is set to be awarded a quarter-final as the only non-English venue should the RFU's bid succeed.

The 1991 and 1999 World Cups were spread around Britain. But this didn't help create the sense of a 'unified' tournament and attendances in Scotland in particular were poor.

However, England's failure to bring Scotland and Ireland on board could yet count against them although it is expected the likes of Canada, Japan and the United States will back the RFU.

England's bid projects a surplus at least 60 million pounds more than its rivals and that financial strength is important to the IRB, which uses proceeds from World Cups to fund its development programmes.

The 2011 World Cup is in New Zealand. The All Blacks may be one of the strongest teams on the field but the country's rugby grounds cannot compete in size with the 80,000 capacity at Twickenham or the 90,000 of London's Wembley, best known for football but a potential World Cup venue in 2015.

"As the revenue generated from RWC is vital to the IRB's ongoing development plans, the RWCL Board considered in its review process the preference for RWC to be held in one of the major Rugby markets on a regular basis," said RWCL and IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset last month.

Officials at the RFU though were initially concerned by the size of the financial guarantees required from the tournament hosts by the IRB, which they felt were unreasonable given the global credit crunch.

"Our initial predictions make it unlikely that England could actually make a profit out of hosting a World Cup in 2015," RFU chief executive Francis Baron said in October.

"In those circumstances the RFU board would have to consider very carefully whether or not it would be prudent to risk the game's money in bidding in the knowledge that almost certainly we would make a substantial loss."

However, a compromise now appears to have been reached which suits both the IRB and the RFU, although Twickenham chiefs are remaining tight-lipped as they try to ensure their bid is not scuppered by the charge of 'English arrogance'.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news