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, 25 June 2016
Samoa v Tonga 02h00 Apia
United States v Russia 02h00 Sacramento
New Zealand v Wales 07h35 Dunedin
Australia v England 10h00 Sydney
Japan v Scotland 10h30 Nagoya
Italy U20 v Japan U20 11h00 Manchester
Griffons v Free State Cheetahs 12h10 Welkom
Griquas v Sharks 13h00 Kimberley
Georgia U20 v France U20 13h15 Manchester
Argentina U20 v South Africa U20 13h30 Salford
Boland v Namibia 14h00 Wellington
South Africa v Ireland 15h00 Port Elizabeth
Scotland U20 v Wales U20 15h30 Manchester
Australia U20 v New Zealand U20 15h45 Salford
Ireland U20 v England U20 18h00 Salford
Argentina v France 18h10 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 June 2016
Canada v Italy 16h00 Toronto
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
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