Sept18,2014(ISN) – With one year to go until Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off, Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Chairman Bernard Lapasset is confident that the eighth edition of the sport’s showcase event will be a very special and record-breaking celebration of Rugby.
With preparations on track and strong demand for ticket applications through the public process, England 2015 is set to be the most viewed, best-attended and most-engaged Rugby World Cup ever, while a record commercial programme will provide the financial platform for unprecedented investment in Rugby worldwide.
Lapasset said: “Today represents a very significant milestone for tournament preparations and for Rugby fans around the world.”
“With one year to go, England 2015 promises to be a very special and record-breaking global celebration of Rugby in the host nation. It really will be too big to miss.”
“England 2015 will have Rugby and fans at heart and from venues to host cities, ticketing to official travel programmes and training bases to team preparation, the stage has been set to ensure that fans and teams enjoy an exceptional experience.”
“None of this could be achieved without a clear vision, a great team and close collaboration and I would like to thank England Rugby 2015 and the RFU for their excellent work in driving forward and delivering what promises to be a truly memorable Rugby World Cup.”
With host venues, cities and training bases stretching from the south west to the north east and into Wales, England 2015 will be a truly nationwide event as England prepares to welcome more than 400,000 visiting international fans.
England Rugby 2015 Chief Executive Debbie Jevans said: “With one year to go to the tournament our plans are firmly on track. We are very pleased with the demand for tickets since they went on general sale on September 12. We still have a year of hard work ahead of us but with the team bases announced, the venues and city plans being finalised, excellent support from our stakeholders and tickets on sale we are able to move forward with confidence.”
In addition to strong demand for tickets via the public application process which runs until September 29 (buy official though tickets.rugbyworldcup.com), more than 150,000 tickets have been booked by Rugby fans from 50 nations through Official Travel Agents – surpassing the total sold for New Zealand 2011 by 30 per cent, while sales are on track to topple the France 2007 total of 184,000.
The tournament in numbers
Excitement building throughout host cities, venues and across the global Rugby family
Hospitality package sales for RWC 2015 have already exceed total volume sold for RWC 2011
6 official Worldwide Partners with programme locked down in record time and with record value
13 match venues
20 participating teams
41 team bases across England and Wales providing world-class training facilities for participating teams
83 nations have participated in the largest Rugby World Cup qualification programme
200+ broadcast territories to screen more than 20,000 hours of coverage
20,000 applications for 6,000 places in ‘The Pack’, the official tournament volunteer programme
150,000 tickets sold through official supporter tour programme, surpassing the New Zealand 2011 total by 30 per cent
400,000 overseas fans anticipated to visit England and Wales during the six-week, 48-match festival
2.3 million tickets available
£330 million being invested by the IRB in development of global Rugby between 2009-2016 owing to commercial success of RWC
With Rugby experiencing unprecedented global growth and more than 6.6 million men, women and children actively playing the sport in 121 Unions affiliated to the IRB, Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to play an unprecedented role in developing the Game globally – enabling the IRB to invest record sums in development, high performance, tournaments, anti-doping and player welfare programmes.
RWCL Managing Director Brett Gosper added: “Rugby World Cup is the driving force behind record investment in global Rugby and thanks to the success of the 2011 and 2015 commercial programmes, the IRB is investing an unprecedented £330 million in the sport to strengthen our base and grow in emerging Rugby countries.”
The global qualification process, which began in 2012 and has thus far spanned a record 201 matches involving 83 nations will reach its climax in late September and October when Russia and Uruguay go head to head for the 20th and final place at England 2015.
Russia will welcome Uruguay to Siberia on September 27 with the return leg in Montevideo on October 11. The winner on aggregate over the two legs will join Australia, hosts England, Wales and Fiji in Pool A.
Lapasset said: “From Antananarivo to Zalin and across every continent, the qualification journey to England 2015 has been the largest to date, demonstrating the reach of a growing sport and delivering unforgettable moments along the way.”
“We are now down to the last two teams and all eyes will be on Russia and Uruguay to see who will claim the final place.”
The general ticket application window runs until September 29 via tickets.rugbyworldcup.com and fans are advised to ensure that they buy via official channels only by using the official checker at www.rugbyworldcup.com/buyofficial. For more information on the official travel and hospitality programmes, visit www.rugbyworldcup.com/supportertoursandwww.rugbyworldcup.com/hospitality
In a first for Rugby World Cup, more than £13,000 has so far been raised for the Rugby World Cup 2015 Tackle Hunger Million Meal Challenge partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme through online donations via the ticket sales process. The Million Meal Challenge aims to generate one million meals for the WFP school feeding programme to help nourish the bodies and minds of the world’s hungry.