2015 Rugby World Cup
|Dates||18 September 2015 – 31 October 2015|
|No. of nations||20|
The 2015 Rugby Union 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.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). RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset revealed the result on 28 July 2009 at IRB headquarters.
Submission of interest 
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. Argentina had been reported in early 2008 as having given preliminary consideration to bidding, 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. Russia withdrew in February 2009 to concentrate on bidding for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, Australia and Ireland withdrew in spring 2009 due to financial reasons. Scotland withdrew in April 2009 after they were unable to secure co-hosting partners for the tournament. Wales was the last nation to officially pull out after they failed to submit a bid by 8 May 2009, but Wales backed England's bid and some games will be played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Final bids 
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.
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. 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. 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.
On 28 July 2009, the International Rugby Board (IRB) confirmed that England had fought off rival bids from South Africa and Italy and would host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, while Japan would host the 2019 event. The IRB voted 16-10 in favour of rubber-stamping the recommendation from Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) that England and Japan should be named hosts.
Italy stated its desire to host, 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. 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. Japan was seen as a favourite to host after finishing runner-up in the bidding for the 2011 event, and won the right to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup. 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 developing 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 
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) had confirmed its intent to bid for the 2015 tournament, and in May 2009 South Africa delivered its application to the International Rugby Board. 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, 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 the decision by the IRB on 28 July 2009, the proposed stadia for the tournament were revealed. Eleven stadia in England and one in Wales were chosen. Only two venues (Kingsholm Stadium and Sandy Park) are dedicated club rugby union grounds; two are national rugby stadia (Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium); one is multi-purpose (Olympic Stadium) and the remainder are association football grounds. Under the initial proposal, all stadia will host pool games. Twickenham will host the final, both semi-finals and one quarter-final. The Millennium Stadium will host two quarter-finals. Wembley will host one quarter-final.
The first venue officially announced was Wales' Millennium Stadium, which was endorsed by the IRB on 24 May 2011. The RFU had proposed the stadium because of its size and strategic location close to major rugby hotbeds in England's West Country, a view with which the IRB ultimately agreed. An updated list of venues was later released. On 4 March 2013 Sandy Park - home of the Exeter Chiefs - was added as a location, with plans for expansion up to 20,000.
In April 2013, Manchester United F.C. pulled out of an agreement to host matches at Old Trafford, citing previous commitments to hosting rugby league and its Grand Final, as well as not wanting to degrade their pitch. With the RWCL wanting some matches staged in North West England, Manchester City F.C. were approached about leasing the City of Manchester Stadium as a replacement. It was later reported that Manchester City would only be interested in hosting one match during the football season, down from the original three which were to be played at Old Trafford.
The venues for the tournament were confirmed on 2 May 2013.
|Twickenham||Wembley Stadium||Millennium Stadium||City of Manchester Stadium||Olympic Stadium|
|Capacity: 82,000||Capacity: 90,000||Capacity: 74,500||Expansion to 60,000||Capacity: 54,000|
|Matches: 5 Pool, 2 QF,
2 SF, Final
|Matches: 2 Pool||Matches: 6 Pool, 2 QF||Matches: 1 Pool||Matches: 4 Pool, Bronze|
|St. James' Park||Villa Park|
|Capacity: 52,387||Capacity: 42,788|
|Matches: 3 Pool||Matches: 2 Pool|
|Elland Road||Leicester City Stadium|
|Capacity: 37,900||Capacity: 32,262|
|Matches: 2 Pool||Matches: 3 Pool|
|Stadium MK||Brighton Community Stadium|
|Expansion to 32,000||Capacity: 30,750|
|Matches: 3 Pool||Matches: 2 Pool|
|Kingsholm Stadium||Sandy Park|
|Capacity: 16,500||Capacity: 12,300|
|Matches: 4 Pool||Matches: 3 Pool|
England, as the host nation, qualify automatically. All the teams that came 3rd or above in the pool stages of the 2011 Rugby World Cup automatically qualify.
|No Asian nations qualified
as of 3 December 2012.
Pool stage 
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.
- Band 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France
- Band 2: England, Ireland, Samoa, Argentina
- Band 3: Wales, Italy, Tonga, Scotland
- Band 4: Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1, Americas 1
- Band 5: Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2, Playoff winner
|Pool A||Pool B||Pool C||Pool D|
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 
|18 September 2015||England||v||Oceania 1||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|20 September 2015||Wales||v||Playoff winner||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|23 September 2015||Australia||v||Oceania 1||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|26 September 2015||England||v||Wales||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|27 September 2015||Australia||v||Playoff winner||Villa Park, Birmingham|
|1 October 2015||Wales||v||Oceania 1||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|3 October 2015||England||v||Australia||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|6 October 2015||Playoff winner||v||Oceania 1||Stadium mk, Milton Keynes|
|10 October 2015||Australia||v||Wales||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|10 October 2015||England||v||Playoff winner||City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester|
Pool B 
|19 September 2015||South Africa||v||Asia 1||Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton|
|20 September 2015||Samoa||v||Americas 2||Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton|
|23 September 2015||Scotland||v||Asia 1||Kingsholm, Gloucester|
|26 September 2015||South Africa||v||Samoa||Villa Park, Birmingham|
|27 September 2015||Scotland||v||Americas 2||Elland Road, Leeds|
|3 October 2015||Samoa||v||Asia 1||Stadium mk, Milton Keynes|
|3 October 2015||South Africa||v||Scotland||St. James' Park, Newcastle|
|7 October 2015||South Africa||v||Americas 2||Olympic Stadium, London|
|10 October 2015||Samoa||v||Scotland||St. James' Park, Newcastle|
|11 October 2015||Americas 2||v||Asia 1||Kingsholm, Gloucester|
Pool C 
|19 September 2015||Tonga||v||Europe 1||Kingsholm, Gloucester|
|20 September 2015||New Zealand||v||Argentina||Wembley Stadium, London|
|24 September 2015||New Zealand||v||Africa 1||Olympic Stadium, London|
|25 September 2015||Argentina||v||Europe 1||Kingsholm, Gloucester|
|29 September 2015||Tonga||v||Africa 1||Sandy Park, Exeter|
|2 October 2015||New Zealand||v||Europe 1||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|4 October 2015||Argentina||v||Tonga||Leicester City Stadium, Leicester|
|7 October 2015||Africa 1||v||Europe 1||Sandy Park, Exeter|
|9 October 2015||New Zealand||v||Tonga||St. James' Park, Newcastle|
|11 October 2015||Argentina||v||Africa 1||Leicester City Stadium, Leicester|
Pool D 
|19 September 2015||Ireland||v||Americas 1||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|19 September 2015||France||v||Italy||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|23 September 2015||France||v||Europe 2||Olympic Stadium, London|
|26 September 2015||Italy||v||Americas 1||Elland Road, Leeds|
|27 September 2015||Ireland||v||Europe 2||Wembley Stadium, London|
|1 October 2015||France||v||Americas 1||Stadium mk, Milton Keynes|
|4 October 2015||Ireland||v||Italy||Olympic Stadium, London|
|6 October 2015||Americas 1||v||Europe 2||Leicester City Stadium, Leicester|
|11 October 2015||Italy||v||Europe 2||Sandy Park, Exeter|
|11 October 2015||France||v||Ireland||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
Knockout stage 
|17 October – Millennium Stadium|
|24 October – Twickenham Stadium|
|17 October – Twickenham Stadium|
|31 October – Twickenham Stadium|
|18 October – Millennium Stadium|
|25 October – Twickenham Stadium|
|18 October – Twickenham Stadium|
|30 October – Olympic Stadium|
|17 October 2015
||Winner Pool C||v||Runner Up Pool D||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
|17 October 2015
||Winner Pool B||v||Runner Up Pool A||Twickenham Stadium, London
|18 October 2015
||Winner Pool D||v||Runner Up Pool C||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
|18 October 2015
||Winner Pool A||v||Runner Up Pool B||Twickenham Stadium, London
|24 October 2015
||Winner QF1||v||Winner QF2||Twickenham Stadium, London
|25 October 2015
||Winner QF3||v||Winner QF4||Twickenham Stadium, London
Bronze final 
|30 October 2015
||Loser SF1||v||Loser SF2||Olympic Stadium, London
|31 October 2015
||Winner SF1||v||Winner SF2||Twickenham Stadium, London
Media coverage 
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. 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.
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