Olympic Stadium set to be WC venue

Wed, 01 May 2013 17:35
Large olympicstadium Large millennium stadium night 63

London's Olympic Stadium is set to be announced as one of the venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

London's Olympic Stadium is set to be announced as one of the venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup when organisers unveil their list of grounds for the tournament on Thursday.

England 2015 chiefs have guaranteed to deliver £80 million ($125 million) in revenue to the International Rugby Board (IRB) from the tournament and that means they must sell as many tickets as possible.

Initially, officials hoped the likes of Manchester United's 75,000-seater Old Trafford stadium would be available to them.

But with the World Cup coinciding with the English football season, the Premier League champions have rejected overtures to stage rugby matches there, fearing damage to the pitch.

The Olympic Stadium has a maximum capacity of some 80,000 but doubt remains over whether retractable seating covering its athletics track - which would take rugby fans closer to the action - will have been installed by 2015.

Premier League side West Ham are due to move into the Olympic Stadium from 2016.

Thursday's announcement at Twickenham, English rugby's headquarters in south-west London, could see as many as 13 football grounds - including Wembley - selected as World Cup venues.

Many rugby fans and club officials in England have been disappointed that so many traditional rugby grounds in the sport's birthplace, such as Leicester's Welford Road, have been overlooked for the sport's showpiece tournament.

The 2011 edition in New Zealand, which the All Blacks won on home soil, was staged at grounds whose main purpose is host rugby matches.

But having guaranteed the IRB such an impressive financial return, the fact no major English club ground can top the capacity of a comparable football club mean organisers feel justified in turning to the likes of Manchester City's Eastlands Stadium, also set to be named as a World Cup venue.

Thursday's announcement should also see Twickenham and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium announced as quarterfinal venues, with the London ground staging both semifinals and the Final.

The other rugby grounds on the venue shortlist for the 48-match tournament are Kingsholm and Sandy Park, respectively the homes of south-west clubs Gloucester and Exeter.

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 30 April 2016
Border v Pumas 12h30 East London
Namibia v EP Kings 13h00 Windhoek
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Welford Road
Western Province v Golden Lions 14h15 Newlands
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h15 Franklin's Gardens
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 14h30 Millennium Stadium
Ulster v Leinster 15h00 Kingspan Stadium
Lions v Hurricanes 15h05 Johannesburg
Dragons v Scarlets 17h00 Millennium Stadium
Stormers v Waratahs 17h10 Cape Town
Jaguares v Kings 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 30 April 2016
Reds v Cheetahs 30 | 17
Highlanders v Brumbies 23 | 10
Blues v Rebels 36 | 30
Fri, 29 April 2016
Munster v Edinburgh 27 | 19
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 70 | 10
Treviso v Connacht 22 | 21
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 11 | 12
Boland v Griquas 14 | 30
Force v Bulls 20 | 42
Chiefs v Sharks 24 | 22
Wed, 27 April 2016
Eagles v Leopards 26 | 21
Falcons v Griffons 26 | 49
Sun, 24 April 2016
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 16 | 19
Brumbies v Crusaders 14 | 40
Sat, 23 April 2016
Kings v Lions 10 | 45
WORLD CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 17
Wales 4 3 0 1 13
England 4 2 0 2 11
Fiji 4 1 0 3 5
Uruguay 4 0 0 4 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa 4 3 0 1 16
Scotland 4 3 0 1 14
Japan 4 3 0 1 12
Samoa 4 1 0 3 6
United States 4 0 0 4 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 19
Argentina 4 3 0 1 15
Georgia 4 2 0 2 8
Tonga 4 1 0 3 6
Namibia 4 0 0 4 1
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 18
France 4 3 0 1 14
Italy 4 2 0 2 10
Romania 4 1 0 3 4
Canada 4 0 0 4 2