Welford Road axed for World Cup

Welford Road, the biggest club rugby ground in England, has been axed as a potential venue for the 2015 World Cup.

Last Updated: 08/10/12 at 14:48 Post Comment

Welford Road: Will not stage a World Cup match

Welford Road: Will not stage a World Cup match

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The ground, which has been Leicester Tigers' home for 120 years, has been left off the long list of 17 stadia published by tournament organisers England Rugby 2015.

Gloucester's Kingsholm is the only Aviva Premiership rugby ground on a list that includes Twickenham, the Olympic Stadium, Wembley, the Millennium Stadium and some of the biggest club football stadia in the country.

The home grounds of Manchester United, Newcastle, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Southampton have all been included after expressing an interest in staging World Cup matches.

Outside of the Premier League, ER2015 have included the Amex Stadium in Brighton, Bristol City's Ashton Gate, Pride Park in Derby, Coventry's Ricoh Arena, Elland Road in Leeds and Stadium MK in Milton Keynes.

Leicester is still represented by the King Power Stadium, which has a capacity of over 32,000 and, tournament organisers believe, more suitable off-field facilities than Welford Road.

Critics argue the World Cup should be utilising more rugby grounds but ER2015 have to sell 2.9million tickets in order to cover the £80million guarantee owed to the International Rugby Board.

ER2015 will confirm the final list of 10-12 venues early in the new year, once the tournament match schedule has been formulated. The pool draw is being held on December 3 in London.

Arsenal's Emirates Stadium was in the original bid document but it does not feature on the shortlist, replaced by the Olympic Stadium.

ER2015 are in talks with the Olympic Park Legacy Company over the future use of the stadium, which has obvious attractions following the success of London 2012.

Andy Cosslett, England Rugby 2015 chairman, said: "Our vision for Rugby World Cup 2015 is to ensure that we take this prestigious tournament to as many parts of the country as possible and we believe that the geographical spread of venues selected will enable us to maximise the reach of the tournament.

"In addition, we will be selecting further venues for training and team base camps that will ensure that the rugby community is at the very heart of Rugby World Cup 2015.

"We will now continue to work extremely closely with the venues, cities and stakeholders, including the Premier League and Football League, to plan the scheduling of matches and city hosting programmes to select a final list of up to 12 venues, which will be agreed by the early part of next year.

"We are confident that with the venues selected we will be able to reach our target of having up to 2.9 million tickets available, opening up the tournament to more people than ever before and in turn delivering the biggest and best Rugby World Cup that there has ever been.

"The process of choosing the long list of venues was very competitive and we would like to thank the venues and cities who we have met for their full co-operation, including the venues not selected, all of whom provided us with their fulsome assistance and information required to make our selection."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

ll he wants are sharks with frickin lazers on their heads. Is that too much to ask?

mufc phil
Bomb threat on FIFA D-day

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

Footer 365

Craig Cathcart out to build on a special 12 months

Northern Ireland and Watford defender Craig Cathcart wants to build on a memorable year for club and country.

Tim Sherwood defends Arsene Wenger's record at Arsenal

Tim Sherwood has praised Arsene Wenger's Arsenal record ahead of the FA Cup final after past criticism of the Frenchman.

Arsene Wenger keen to focus on future ahead of FA Cup final

Arsene Wenger will continue to look to the future, rather than reflect on past glories, if Arsenal can win his sixth FA Cup.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company