2015 Rugby World Cup

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2015 Rugby World Cup
2015 Rugby World Cup.png
Tournament details
Host nation England
Dates18 September – 31 October
No. of nations20
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2015 Rugby World Cup
2015 Rugby World Cup.png
Tournament details
Host nation England
Dates18 September – 31 October
No. of nations20

The 2015 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to be the eighth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial rugby union world championship. The tournament is scheduled to be hosted by England from 18 September to 31 October 2015.[1] Twickenham Stadium will host the final.

England was chosen to host the competition in July 2009, beating rival bids from Italy, Japan and South Africa. Four countries submitted formal bids to host the tournament, with England being recommended by the competition's organisers to the International Rugby Board (IRB).[2] RWCL chairman Bernard Lapasset revealed the result on 28 July 2009 at IRB headquarters.[3]


Submission of interest[edit]

The International Rugby Board requested that any member unions wishing to host this tournament or the 2019 Rugby World Cup should indicate their interest by 15 August 2008. This would be purely to indicate interest; no details had to be provided at this stage. A record ten unions indicated formal interest in hosting the 2015 and/or the 2019 events: Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Russia, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.[4] Argentina had been reported in early 2008 as having given preliminary consideration to bidding,[5] but did not ultimately formally indicate an interest in bidding.

Of the 10 nations that had expressed formal interest, many withdrew their candidacy in early 2009. Jamaica was the first to withdraw its candidacy.[6] Russia withdrew in February 2009 to concentrate on bidding for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens,[7] Australia and Ireland withdrew in spring 2009 due to financial reasons.[8][9] Scotland withdrew in April 2009 after they were unable to secure co-hosting partners for the tournament.[10] Wales was the last nation to officially pull out after they failed to submit a bid by 8 May 2009,[11] but Wales backed England's bid and some games will be played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.[12]

Final bids[edit]

The final nations that bid for the right to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup were England, Japan, South Africa and Italy. Four confirmed bids was a record number for the Rugby World Cup.[6]

On 28 July 2009, the International Rugby Board (IRB) confirmed that England would host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and Japan would host the 2019 event. The IRB voted 16–10 in favour of approving the recommendation from Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) that England and Japan should be named hosts.[3][13]


In September 2007, The Guardian reported that the Rugby Football Union had decided to submit a bid. BBC News reported in February 2009 that the intent was for a solo bid from the RFU, but with the possibility of some matches being played in Scotland, Wales or Ireland.[14] It was hoped that the 2015 World Cup would add to Britain's "Decade of Sport" (including the 2012 Summer Olympics).

It was also claimed that the bid had a very strong chance of success due to the IRB's belief that the 2011 tournament might make a loss, therefore making it particularly important to ensure a profit, which was considered a strong point of England's proposed bid.[15] The chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, Francis Baron, said that the tournament will target sales of 3 million tickets. England's package was projected to generate £300m for the IRB – £220m in commercial returns from broadcasting, sponsorship and merchandising, and the £80m tournament fee.[3]


Italy stated its desire to host,[16] and an Italian bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2015 or 2019 was confirmed on 20 July 2008. Italy declared that it wanted to host "For the Enlargement of the Frontiers of Our Sport". It was a slogan relevant to the then-current landscape of World Cup rugby, given that 2007 was the first time that the Rugby World Cup was hosted primarily by a non-English-speaking country.

The Italian bid offered the largest cities and stadiums in the country and promised a fast domestic train system to ensure visitors easy access to the games and between cities. The Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) also included the importance of the history of Italy, the population and the growth of rugby since Italy joined the 6 Nations in 2000 as reasons for hosting a World Cup. Rugby had been growing increasingly popular in Italy in recent years, with improved crowds at both international matches and the domestic National Championship of Excellence competition.[citation needed] The FIR referred to the success of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France as a key for why it should host. Fans from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and other European countries went to matches in France in large numbers, and Italy was therefore predicted to receive a large number of visitors.

The Stadio Olimpico in Rome had been proposed as the venue to host the final and the first match of the tournament. Milan and Naples were included as the other large venues. The entire list was a selection of large stadiums spread across the country. Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, France was also included as the tenth proposed venue.


The Japan Rugby Football Union officially submitted its tender to the International Rugby Board in May 2009.[17] Japan was seen as a favourite to host after finishing runner-up in the bidding for the 2011 event.[17] Japan is seen as having a lot to offer rugby's growth in Asia. Its population of 127 million, its large economy, and its ability to place rugby before a new Asian audience made it a front-runner for hosting rights. Furthermore, rugby in Japan has a developed a following, and with 126,000 registered players, Japan has more players than some of the Six Nations. Japan's Top League is a showcase for Japanese rugby, and there is excitement about Japan's entry into the RWC. Japan's experience in co-hosting the 2002 FIFA World Cup was seen as a boost, with Japan already possessing the necessary stadiums and infrastructure.

South Africa[edit]

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) had confirmed its intent to bid for the 2015 tournament,[18] and in May 2009 South Africa delivered its application to the International Rugby Board.[19] South Africa had previously made an unsuccessful bid to host the 2011 RWC. The strengths of a South African bid would be that it is in the same time zone as Europe, the wealthiest television market from a rugby perspective, that South Africa were the current World Cup holders, that they had successfully hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and that they were in the process of building large new stadiums for the then-upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup.


After England were appointed tournament hosts on 28 July 2009, the proposed stadia for the tournament were revealed. The final venues were confirmed, along with the tournament's schedule, on 2 May 2013.[20] Twelve of the stadia are located in England while the Millennium Stadium is in Wales. In 2011 the IRB approved the use of the Millennium Stadium, despite being outside of the host country, due to its capacity and strategic location.[21] Out of the thirteen venues two are dedicated rugby union grounds (Kingsholm Stadium and Sandy Park); two are national rugby stadiums (Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium); one is multi-purpose (Olympic Stadium) and the remainder are association football grounds.[22]

Proposed venues that did not make the final selection were the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, Coventry's Ricoh Arena, St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, Pride Park Stadium in Derby and Bristol's Ashton Gate.[23] In April 2013 Old Trafford was withdrawn from consideration by its owners, Manchester United F.C., citing commitments to hosting rugby league and its Grand Final and concerns about pitch degradation. The RWCL then approached neighbouring Manchester City about leasing their home stadium as a replacement. City agreed to let their stadium be used for the tournament but only for one match due to footballing commitments - down from the original three which were to be played at Old Trafford.[24] The Etihad Stadium, as it is known for football sponsorship purposes, will be called 'Manchester City Stadium' by organisers for the duration of the tournament.[25]

TwickenhamWembley StadiumMillennium StadiumManchester City StadiumOlympic Stadium
51°27′22″N 0°20′30″W / 51.45611°N 0.34167°W / 51.45611; -0.34167 (Twickenham Stadium)51°33′21″N 0°16′47″W / 51.55583°N 0.27972°W / 51.55583; -0.27972 (Wembley Stadium)51°28′40″N 3°11′00″W / 51.47778°N 3.18333°W / 51.47778; -3.18333 (Millennium Stadium)53°28′59″N 2°12′1″W / 53.48306°N 2.20028°W / 53.48306; -2.20028 (City of Manchester Stadium)51°32′19″N 0°00′59″W / 51.53861°N 0.01639°W / 51.53861; -0.01639 (Olympic Stadium (London))
Capacity: 82,000Capacity: 90,000Capacity: 74,500Capacity: 62,170
Construction progress: by 2015
Capacity: 54,000
Twickehnam Pitch.jpgWembley Stadium interior.jpgInside the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.jpgCity of Manchester Stadium East Stand.jpgLondon Olympic Stadium Interior - April 2012.jpg
St. James' ParkVilla Park

Capacity: 52,387

Capacity: 42,788

54°58′32″N 1°37′18″W / 54.97556°N 1.62167°W / 54.97556; -1.62167 (St James' Park)52°30′33″N 1°53′5″W / 52.50917°N 1.88472°W / 52.50917; -1.88472 (Villa Park)
St James Park.jpgVilla Park.jpg
Elland RoadLeicester City Stadium
53°46′40″N 1°34′20″W / 53.77778°N 1.57222°W / 53.77778; -1.57222 (Elland Road)52°37′13″N 1°8′32″W / 52.62028°N 1.14222°W / 52.62028; -1.14222 (Leicester City Stadium)

Capacity: 37,900

Capacity: 32,262

Elland Road, East Stand.jpgPrWalkers 5.jpg
GloucesterExeterMilton KeynesBrighton
Kingsholm StadiumSandy ParkStadium mkBrighton Community Stadium
51°52′18″N 2°14′34″W / 51.87167°N 2.24278°W / 51.87167; -2.24278 (Kingsholm Stadium)50°42′33.51″N 3°28′3.26″W / 50.7093083°N 3.4675722°W / 50.7093083; -3.4675722 (Sandy Park)52°00′34″N 00°44′00″W / 52.00944°N 0.73333°W / 52.00944; -0.73333 (Stadkum MK)50°51′42″N 0°4′59.80″W / 50.86167°N 0.0832778°W / 50.86167; -0.0832778 (Falmer Park)

Capacity: 16,500

Capacity: 20,600
Construction progress: by 2015
Capacity: 32,000
Construction progress: by 2015

Capacity: 30,750

Kingsholm in 2007.jpgSandy park stadium exeter.jpgStadiumMKEnglandU21.jpgFalmer Stadium - League debut.jpg


As the host nation, England qualify automatically, as do all of the teams that finished in the top three of their pool at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The qualification process for the remaining teams incorporates existing regional competitions such as the European Nations Cup.[27]

Qualified teams[edit]

The following 13 teams, shown with final pre-tournament rankings,[28] qualified for the final tournament.

ARFU (0)
  • No Asian nations have qualified
CAR (1)
FORU (4)
  Country qualified for World Cup
  Country may qualify
  Country failed to qualify
  Country not a IRB member

Pool stage[edit]

The first round, or pool stage, sees the 20 teams divided into four pools of five teams, using the same format that was used in 2003, 2007 and in 2011. The pool stage draw was conducted at the Tate Modern on 3 December 2012 at 15:00 GMT, and divided the 12 automatic qualifiers into three bands according to their place in the most recent IRB World Rankings.[29][30]

The bands are as follows (Note, in brackets are pre-seeding rankings:[31][32]


Pool APool BPool CPool D

Oceania 1
Playoff winner

 South Africa
Asia 1
Americas 2

 New Zealand
Europe 1
Africa 1

Europe 2


Each pool is a single round-robin of ten games, in which each team plays one match against each of the other teams in the same pool. Teams are awarded four points for a win, two points for a draw and none for a defeat. A team scoring four or more tries in one match will score a bonus point, as will a team that loses by seven points or fewer.

The teams finishing in the top two of each pool will advance to the quarter-finals. The top three teams of each pool will receive automatic qualification to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Pool A[edit]

Oceania 10000000+000
Playoff winner0000000+000
18 September 2015England vOceania 1Twickenham Stadium, London
20 September 2015Wales vPlayoff winnerMillennium Stadium, Cardiff
23 September 2015Australia vOceania 1Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
26 September 2015England v WalesTwickenham Stadium, London
27 September 2015Australia vPlayoff winnerVilla Park, Birmingham
1 October 2015Wales vOceania 1Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
3 October 2015England v AustraliaTwickenham Stadium, London
6 October 2015Playoff winnervOceania 1Stadium mk, Milton Keynes
10 October 2015Australia v WalesTwickenham Stadium, London
10 October 2015England vPlayoff winnerCity of Manchester Stadium, Manchester

Pool B[edit]

 South Africa0000000+000
Asia 10000000+000
Americas 20000000+000
19 September 2015South Africa vAsia 1Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton
20 September 2015Samoa vAmericas 2Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton
23 September 2015Scotland vAsia 1Kingsholm, Gloucester
26 September 2015South Africa v SamoaVilla Park, Birmingham
27 September 2015Scotland vAmericas 2Elland Road, Leeds
3 October 2015Samoa vAsia 1Stadium mk, Milton Keynes
3 October 2015South Africa v ScotlandSt. James' Park, Newcastle
7 October 2015South Africa vAmericas 2Olympic Stadium, London
10 October 2015Samoa v ScotlandSt. James' Park, Newcastle
11 October 2015Americas 2vAsia 1Kingsholm, Gloucester

Pool C[edit]

 New Zealand0000000+000
Europe 10000000+000
Africa 10000000+000
19 September 2015Tonga vEurope 1Kingsholm, Gloucester
20 September 2015New Zealand v ArgentinaWembley Stadium, London
24 September 2015New Zealand vAfrica 1Olympic Stadium, London
25 September 2015Argentina vEurope 1Kingsholm, Gloucester
29 September 2015Tonga vAfrica 1Sandy Park, Exeter
2 October 2015New Zealand vEurope 1Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
4 October 2015Argentina v TongaLeicester City Stadium, Leicester
7 October 2015Africa 1vEurope 1Sandy Park, Exeter
9 October 2015New Zealand v TongaSt. James' Park, Newcastle
11 October 2015Argentina vAfrica 1Leicester City Stadium, Leicester

Pool D[edit]

Europe 20000000+000
19 September 2015Ireland v CanadaMillennium Stadium, Cardiff
19 September 2015France v ItalyTwickenham Stadium, London
23 September 2015France vEurope 2Olympic Stadium, London
26 September 2015Italy v CanadaElland Road, Leeds
27 September 2015Ireland vEurope 2Wembley Stadium, London
1 October 2015France v CanadaStadium mk, Milton Keynes
4 October 2015Ireland v ItalyOlympic Stadium, London
6 October 2015Canada vEurope 2Leicester City Stadium, Leicester
11 October 2015Italy vEurope 2Sandy Park, Exeter
11 October 2015France v IrelandMillennium Stadium, Cardiff

Knockout stage[edit]

17 October – Millennium Stadium    
 Winner of Pool C  
24 October – Twickenham Stadium
 Runner-up of Pool D   
17 October – Twickenham Stadium
 Winner of Pool B  
31 October – Twickenham Stadium
 Runner-up of Pool A   
18 October – Millennium Stadium
 Winner of Pool D  
25 October – Twickenham Stadium
 Runner-up of Pool C   
    Third place
18 October – Twickenham Stadium
 Winner of Pool A      
 Runner-up of Pool B       
30 October – Olympic Stadium


17 October 2015
17:00 BST (UTC+01)
Winner of Pool BvRunner-up of Pool A

17 October 2015
14:00 BST (UTC+01)
Winner of Pool CvRunner-up of Pool D

18 October 2015
17:00 BST (UTC+01)
Winner of Pool AvRunner-up of Pool B

18 October 2015
14:00 BST (UTC+01)
Winner of Pool DvRunner-up of Pool C


24 October 2015
17:00 BST (UTC+01)
Winner of quarter-final 1vWinner of quarter-final 2

25 October 2015
17:00 GMT (UTC+00)
Winner of quarter-final 3vWinner of quarter-final 4

Bronze final[edit]

30 October 2015
20:00 GMT (UTC+00)
Loser of semi-final 1vLoser of semi-final 2


31 October 2015
17:00 GMT (UTC+00)
Winner of semi-final 1vWinner of semi-final 2

Media coverage[edit]

ITV Sport will be the UK and worldwide host broadcaster for the 2015 event, having signed a deal in 2011 to broadcast the 2011 and 2015 RWC tournaments. ITV won the rights after outbidding rivals including the BBC and Sky Sports.[34] It will show every match from the tournaments live in the UK on ITV and ITV4. It has rights to stream the matches online at itv.com and also broadcast highlights online. ITV has broadcast every World Cup tournament since 1991.


Ticket prices were announced in November 2013 with general sale applications launching in September 2014.[35] Adult ticket prices start at £15 for pool matches and children's tickets will be available from £7 at 41 of the 48 matches. Tickets for the World Cup final range from £150 to £715.[36]


  1. ^ "September 18 start date for RWC 2015". IRB.com. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "England set to get 2015 World Cup". BBC Sport. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "England will host 2015 World Cup". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 28 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  4. ^ BBC Sport, IRB confirm 2015 & 2019 host bids, 25 August 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/7564403.stm
  5. ^ "Argentina se postuló para organizar el Mundial 2015". rugbytime.com (RugbyTime.com). 26 February 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b IRB, England and Japan handed Rugby World Cups, 28 July 2009, http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/rugbyworldcup2019/news/newsid=2053414.html
  7. ^ "Russia keen to bid for RWC Sevens 2013". IRB.com (International Rugby Board). Retrieved 15 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "Ireland opt out of 2015 bidding". BBC Sport. 1 May 2009. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "Australia ends 2015 World Cup bid". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  10. ^ "Scotland pull out of RWC 2015 bid". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "IRB confirms record RWC bid response". IRB.com (International Rugby Board). 8 May 2009. Archived from the original on 11 May 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "Millennium Stadium chosen as 2015 Rugby World Cup venue". BBC Sport. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "England 2015 will be best Rugby World Cup ever, says RFU chief Francis Baron". Daily Telegraph. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "England to make solo 2015 Cup bid". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 February 2009. Archived from the original on 22 February 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2009. 
  15. ^ Rees, Paul (1 September 2007). "England can bank on 2015 cup as board pushes for profit". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  16. ^ Bates, Rupert (2 September 2007). "Diego Dominguez ready for Rugby World Cup". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Japan joins England and South Africa in bidding for Rugby World Cup, guardian.co.uk, 8 May 2009
  18. ^ http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5iA2uPUqRGOe7984JJDJOe_g4jjXA[dead link]
  19. ^ "South Africa bids for World Cup". BBC Sport. 7 May 2009. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  20. ^ "RWC 2015 venues and schedule announced". rugbyworldcup.com (International Rugby Board). 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Millennium Stadium confirmed as RWC'15 venue". ESPN Scrum. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "Rugby World Cup: guide to England 2015 stadiums". The Telegraph. 28 June 2009. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2015 Long list of potential venues". The Daily Telegraph. 9 October 2009. 
  24. ^ Rumsby, Ben (3 April 2013). "2015 Rugby World Cup can only persuade Manchester City to host one game". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "RWC 2015 venues and schedule announced". 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  26. ^ "RWC 2015: Sandy Park". Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  27. ^ "Major changes made to RWC qualifying". worldcupweb.com. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2009. 
  28. ^ http://www.irb.com/rankings/sportid=1/ranking/index.html
  29. ^ "Top four settled for RWC 2015 pool draw". rugbyworldcup.com. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  30. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2015 draw: England drawn with Wales and Australia in 'Group of death'". Daily Telegraph. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  31. ^ "Rugby – ITV Sport: 2015 Rugby World Cup draw". Itv.com. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  32. ^ "England land Wales and Australia in 2015 Rugby World Cup draw". Guardian UK. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  33. ^ BBC website
  34. ^ "ITV secures television rights to 2011 and 2015 Rugby Union World Cups". Daily Telegraph. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  35. ^ "2.3m tickets for Rugby World Cup 2015". rugbyworldcup.com (International Rugby Board). 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  36. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2015: Cheapest Twickenham final ticket is £150". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
2011 Rugby
World Cup
Rugby World Cup
Succeeded by
2019 Rugby
World Cup