Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The Webb Ellis trophy is displayed ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2015 pool draw.
The Webb Ellis trophy is displayed ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2015 pool draw.

Welsh rugby chiefs launch bid to play key World Cup clashes at Cardiff

The Welsh Rugby Union want to play their 2015 Rugby World Cup pool matches against Australia and hosts England at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium rather than at an English ground.

The Welsh Rugby Union have launched an audacious bid to stage their 2015 World Cup pool matches against host nation England and Australia at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

All three countries were drawn together in the toughest pool of the tournament, with the likelihood that they will also be joined by Fiji as Oceania qualifiers.

The Millennium Stadium was included in England's original bid document and debate has raged as to whether Wales should be afforded home advantage for any of their major pool matches.

While England may not play all their pool matches at Twickenham, it seems inconceivable that Stuart Lancaster's men would be ordered to play against Wales in Cardiff.

But tournament organisers England Rugby 2015 have refused to rule out the possibility that the host nation may have to go to Cardiff for a crunch pool fixture.

"It is very important to remember that Wales was included in the England's bid for matches in the Millennium Stadium," said Roger Lewis, chief executive of the WRU.

"What was pencilled in was eight games and the Welsh government and Cardiff city council would provide financial support to the tune of 1.4 million (Dh8.3m)

"The UK treasury supported the underwriting of the competition and of course Wales is still part of the United Kingdom.

"We would be very welcoming hosts. The discussions will now begin.

"I think [England] would embrace the opportunity to play in the finest rugby stadium in the world.

"I think everything must be up for discussion because it is the finest rugby stadium in the world."

The organisers will now spend the next three months piecing together the fixtures and the venues before announcing the final schedule in March. The Millennium Stadium is one of 17 venues on the long list.

"Roger has invited us, which is very kind of him. I am not going to say one way or the other," said Debbie Jevans, chief executive of England Rugby 2015

"At this point I am not ruling anything out an I am not ruling anything in.

"I understand where Roger is coming from. He is pushing for as many games as possible to be in Cardiff. I don't hold that against him.

"Now we know what the draw is we can go away and look at the appropriate venues for the appropriate matches."

The ER2015 board will draw up the final fixture schedule, including the final venues list, which will then be rubber-stamped by Rugby World Cup Ltd.

The ER2015 announcement in March will also include confirmation of the opening fixture, which is likely to be at Twickenham.

Australia, England and Wales will be joined in Pool A by the Oceania qualifiers - strongly favoured to be Fiji - and the repechage winners. In 2011 they were Romania.

South Africa were drawn in Pool B against Samoa, Scotland and the winners of the Asian qualifiers, along with the second place team from the Americas.

Holders New Zealand will face Argentina and Tonga, along with the group winners from Europe and Africa, while France will play Ireland and Italy. Also in their group will be the top side from the Americas group and second place European team.

The tournament gets under way on September 18 2015, with the final held on October 31.


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament was kicking off at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday with plenty of excitement in store. Ravindranath K / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 kicks off in Abu Dhabi

The first match in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, was held at Zayed Cricket Stadium amid plenty of colour.

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike qualifies Al Jazira for last 16 of Asian Champions League

A dramatic late goal gave Al Jazira a 3-2 victory at Al Rayyan of Qatar in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night and it was just enough to push Walter Zenga’s side into the knockout stages.

 Zayed Cricket Stadium had not witnessed so electrcic an atmosphere before Wednesday evening. Pawan Singh / The National

Packed house gathers in Abu Dhabi for Indian Premier League opener

In less than half a day, Zayed Cricket Stadium witnessed the force that is Indian cricket, with the sound drowning out the controversies that have dogged the Twenty20 tournament, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks down after being defeated during the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. David Ramos/Getty Images

Plenty of life still in Barcelona, says Gerardo Martino

Barcelona coach maintained his side can still return to their former glories after they were beaten 2-1 by a Gareth Bale-inspired Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

 Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg at the official press conference following qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 15, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

F1: Toto Wolff says Mercedes have all the right ingredients in place

With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel, Mercedes have so far dominated the first three grands prix going into this weekend’s fourth round in China.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, left, reacts as Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on during their English Premier League football match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on April 16, 2014. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AFP PHOTO/Andrew YATES

Poyet says ‘I am sure that Luis Suarez is going to be happy’ after Sunderland draw at Manchester City

Sunderland’s survival chances remain slim because now they face Chelsea away at the weekend but manager Gus Poyet insists they are not trying to benefit Liverpool or his fellow Uruguayan, Luis Suarez.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National