With two years to go until the start of Rugby World Cup 2015, Tournament Organisers England Rugby 2015 Limited and Tournament Owners Rugby World Cup Limited are on track to deliver the game’s showpiece event.
CEO Debbie Jevans today outlined the progress made to date and the exciting 24 months that lie ahead before Rugby World Cup begins in September 2015. With the Organising Committee now 50 strong, increasing to 70 staff by the end of the year, the key priorities including building the team, selecting the match venues, finalising the schedule, setting the tournament vision and developing the detailed delivery plans and timelines have all been completed. With the foundations now in place, and a strong response and show of support from the cities and venues who will deliver the third largest global sporting event, England Rugby 2015 will complete a busy 12 months with confirmation of kick-off times and the ticketing strategy and pricing before the end of the year.
The tournament volunteer programme will be launched in early 2014. 6,000 volunteers will be required for RWC 2015 and in line with the tournament vision, England Rugby 2015 will recruit 75% of volunteers from the existing rugby club volunteer network, rewarding and recognising those who help to deliver the game week in week out in their local communities. Eager to also see new people accessing the sport, a further 25% of volunteers will be recruited from outside the game.
With over 80 bids received from more than 30 English counties and Wales to become RWC 2015 Team Bases, the search for the best possible facilities to host the world’s best teams continues. Team Bases, which consist of indoor and outdoor training facilities, hotel, gym and pool, will be selected and announced by the middle of next year, providing England Rugby 2015 with further opportunity to take the tournament to communities all around the country.
Next year England Rugby 2015 will also announce details of two Webb Ellis Cup tours; international and domestic, taking the Cup to most qualifying nations and then all around the UK and Ireland.
On the two years to go milestone, England Rugby 2015 CEO Debbie Jevans, said: “In the last 12 months we have achieved a great deal and laid the foundations – two years out we are on track and in good shape.
“We are now focused on finalising the kick off times and the ticketing strategy by the end of the year. We continue to work with the IRB and all our key stakeholders and our aim is for tickets to be as affordable and accessible as possible.
“As we move into 2014 we begin to fully engage and mobilise our plans with the launch of the volunteer programme, international Webb Ellis Cup tour and tickets going on sale.”
On the RFU’s ‘Posts in the Park’ legacy programme, launched with two years to go until RWC 2015, Jevans added: “Our role as the Organising Committee is to host and stage a tournament that not only delivers the best possible experience for the spectators and the players but also helps grow the game so we are delighted to support the RFU’s Posts in the Park programme. The tournament provides a unique opportunity for rugby in this country.”
Recognising the two years to go milestone, IRB CEO and RWCL Managing Director Brett Gosper added:”In exactly two years, England will host one of the biggest sporting and cultural festivals the country has ever seen. For 44 days, the world’s top 700 players representing 20 nations will be performing to a global audience of 4 billion across 13 venues the length and breadth of the country, showcasing Rugby and the host nation.”
“As we reach this landmark, I am confident that preparations are on track to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2015 will be remembered as the best ever event from a sporting experience and impact perspective that will deliver unprecedented benefits to the host nation and to the profile and development of our sport and its character-building values worldwide.”
Looking ahead to the tournament, Minister for Sport and Tourism, Hugh Robertson, said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 will be a fantastic tournament, bringing new fans and players to the game both domestically and internationally. With two years to go until it kicks off strong plans are in place to ensure both the players and spectators are well looked after and a legacy for the sport is delivered.”