2015 Rugby World Cup
|Dates||18 September – 31 October|
|No. of nations||20|
The 2015 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to be the eighth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial rugby union world championship. The tournament will be hosted by England[nb 1] from 18 September to 31 October 2015. Twickenham Stadium in London will host the final.
England was chosen to host the competition in July 2009, beating rival bids from Italy, Japan and South Africa. The competition's organisers, Rugby World Cup Limited, had recommended England to the International Rugby Board (IRB; now known as World Rugby[nb 2])
Of the 20 teams competing at the 2015 World Cup, 12 of them qualified by finishing in the top three places in their pools in the 2011 World Cup. The other eight teams qualified through regional competition. Of the 20 countries that competed in the previous World Cup in 2011, there was only one change – Uruguay replaced Russia.
- 1 Bids
- 2 Venues
- 3 Qualifying
- 4 Draw
- 5 Warm-up matches
- 6 Squads
- 7 Match officials
- 8 Pool stage
- 9 Knockout stage
- 10 Media coverage
- 11 Tickets
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Submission of interest
The International Rugby Board (IRB) 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.
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.
On 28 July 2009, the IRB confirmed that England would host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and Japan would host the 2019 event, having voted 16–10 in favour of approving the recommendation from Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) that England and Japan should be named hosts. RWCL chairman Bernard Lapasset revealed the result on 28 July 2009 at IRB headquarters.
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.
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. The Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) also included the importance of the population and the growth of rugby since Italy joined the Six 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 international matches.
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 IRB in May 2009. Japan was seen as a favourite to host after finishing runner-up in the bidding for the 2011 event. Japan was 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.
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 IRB. 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. 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. 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); two are multi-purpose (Wembley Stadium and Olympic Stadium) and the remainder are association football grounds.
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, Anfield in Liverpool and Bristol's Ashton Gate. 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. 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.
|Twickenham||Wembley Stadium||Millennium Stadium||Manchester City Stadium||Olympic Stadium|
|Capacity: 82,000||Capacity: 90,000||Capacity: 74,500||Capacity: 56,000
Construction progress: by August 2015
|St. James' Park||Villa Park|
|Capacity: 52,387||Capacity: 42,788|
|Elland Road||Leicester City Stadium|
|Capacity: 37,900||Capacity: 32,262|
|Kingsholm Stadium||Sandy Park||Stadium mk||Brighton Community Stadium|
|Capacity: 16,500||Capacity: 12,500
Construction progress: by 2015
|Capacity: 30,500||Capacity: 30,750|
The 41 venues that will act as team bases for the competing nations were announced on 26 August 2014. All prospective team bases were subject to a rigorous selection process which included an expansive and detailed programme of site visits as well as liaison with the competing Rugby World Cup 2015 teams. A team base will consist of an outdoor and indoor training facility, a swimming pool, gym and hotel and will be utilised by the competing teams in the lead up to and during the World Cup.
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.
A total of 20 teams will play in the final tournament. The below teams are the final 20 teams that will participate (shown with pre-tournament rankings as of 22 June 2015). The list of teams are the same as for 2003's tournament.
Seeding for each group for the 2015 World Cup were based on their respective IRB Rankings. The draw, hosted by Will Greenwood, was conducted on 3 December 2012 in London, and used the World Rankings as of that day, just after the 2012 end-of-year rugby union internationals, which finished on 1 December 2012. The 12 automatic qualifiers from 2011, were allocated to their respective bands based on their rankings;
- Band 1, made up of the top 4 automatic qualifiers, (1–4)
- Band 2, made up of the next 4 automatic qualifiers, (5–8)
- Band 3, made up of the next 4 automatic qualifiers (9–12)
The remaining 8 qualifying places were allocated to Bands 4 and 5, based on previous World Cup playing strength;
- Band 4, made up of Oceania 1, Europe 1, Asia 1 and Americas 1
- Band 5, made up of Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2 and play-off winner
This meant the 20 teams, qualified and qualifiers, were seeded thus:
The draw saw a representative randomly draw a ball from a pot, the first drawn ball goes to Pool A, the second Pool B, the third Pool C and the fourth Pool D. The draw began with Pot 5, drawn by All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, followed by Pot 4, drawn by RWC 2015 Ambassador Maggie Alphonsi, then Pot 3, drawn by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Pot 2, drawn by the then Chief Executive for RWC 2015 Debbie Jevans, and finally Pot 1, drawn by IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
Each country are allowed a squad of 31 players for the tournament. These squads are to be submitted to World Rugby by a deadline of 31 August 2015. Once the squad has been submitted, a player could be replaced if injured, but would not be allowed to return to the squad. There is also a stand-down period of 72 hours before the new player is allowed to take the field. Hence, a replacement player called into a squad on the eve of a game will not be permitted to play in that game.
On 7 April 2015, World Rugby named twelve referees, seven assistant referees and four television match officials to handle the group stage games. The referees appointed to the World Cup with their union in brackets are as follows:
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 2011. The pool stage draw was conducted at the Tate Modern on 3 December 2012, and divided the 12 automatic qualifiers into three bands according to their place in the most recent World Ranking.
- Band 1: New Zealand (1), South Africa (2), Australia (3), France (4)
- Band 2: England (5), Ireland (6), Samoa (7), Argentina (8)
- Band 3: Wales (9), Italy (10), Tonga (11), Scotland (12)
- 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.
|18 September 2015||England||v||Fiji||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|20 September 2015||Wales||v||Uruguay||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|23 September 2015||Australia||v||Fiji||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|26 September 2015||England||v||Wales||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|27 September 2015||Australia||v||Uruguay||Villa Park, Birmingham|
|1 October 2015||Wales||v||Fiji||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|3 October 2015||England||v||Australia||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|6 October 2015||Uruguay||v||Fiji||Stadium mk, Milton Keynes|
|10 October 2015||Australia||v||Wales||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|10 October 2015||England||v||Uruguay||Manchester City Stadium, Manchester|
|19 September 2015||South Africa||v||Japan||Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton|
|20 September 2015||Samoa||v||United States||Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton|
|23 September 2015||Scotland||v||Japan||Kingsholm, Gloucester|
|26 September 2015||South Africa||v||Samoa||Villa Park, Birmingham|
|27 September 2015||Scotland||v||United States||Elland Road, Leeds|
|3 October 2015||Samoa||v||Japan||Stadium mk, Milton Keynes|
|3 October 2015||South Africa||v||Scotland||St. James' Park, Newcastle|
|7 October 2015||South Africa||v||United States||Olympic Stadium, London|
|10 October 2015||Samoa||v||Scotland||St. James' Park, Newcastle|
|11 October 2015||United States||v||Japan||Kingsholm, Gloucester|
|19 September 2015||Tonga||v||Georgia||Kingsholm, Gloucester|
|20 September 2015||New Zealand||v||Argentina||Wembley Stadium, London|
|24 September 2015||New Zealand||v||Namibia||Olympic Stadium, London|
|25 September 2015||Argentina||v||Georgia||Kingsholm, Gloucester|
|29 September 2015||Tonga||v||Namibia||Sandy Park, Exeter|
|2 October 2015||New Zealand||v||Georgia||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|4 October 2015||Argentina||v||Tonga||Leicester City Stadium, Leicester|
|7 October 2015||Namibia||v||Georgia||Sandy Park, Exeter|
|9 October 2015||New Zealand||v||Tonga||St. James' Park, Newcastle|
|11 October 2015||Argentina||v||Namibia||Leicester City Stadium, Leicester|
|19 September 2015||Ireland||v||Canada||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|19 September 2015||France||v||Italy||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|23 September 2015||France||v||Romania||Olympic Stadium, London|
|26 September 2015||Italy||v||Canada||Elland Road, Leeds|
|27 September 2015||Ireland||v||Romania||Wembley Stadium, London|
|1 October 2015||France||v||Canada||Stadium mk, Milton Keynes|
|4 October 2015||Ireland||v||Italy||Olympic Stadium, London|
|6 October 2015||Canada||v||Romania||Leicester City Stadium, Leicester|
|11 October 2015||Italy||v||Romania||Sandy Park, Exeter|
|11 October 2015||France||v||Ireland||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|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|
|18 October – Twickenham Stadium|
|30 October – Olympic Stadium|
|Winner of Pool A|
|Runner-up of Pool B|
|Winner of Pool B||v||Runner-up of Pool A|
|Winner of Pool C||v||Runner-up of Pool D|
|Winner of Pool D||v||Runner-up of Pool C|
|Winner of Pool A||v||Runner-up of Pool B|
|Winner of quarter-final 1||v||Winner of quarter-final 2|
|Winner of quarter-final 3||v||Winner of quarter-final 4|
|Loser of semi-final 1||v||Loser of semi-final 2|
Olympic Stadium, London
|Winner of semi-final 1||v||Winner of semi-final 2|
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 tournament live in the UK on ITV and ITV4.
|Argentina||ESPN ||At least 16 matches (all Argentina and Uruguay matches, plus all knock-out stages matches with the bronze final and the final).|
|Australia||Fox Sports ||All 48 matches broadcast live.|
|Nine Network ||All Australian matches free-to-air live.|
|Canada||TSN ||All 48 matches live on either TSN, TSN2 or TSN.ca.|
|RDS ||Rights to a select number of matches in French.|
|Fiji||Fiji TV, FBC TV ||All 48 matches across the two broadcasters.|
|France||TF1 ||21 matches, including all French matches, the best pool stage matches, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals, the bronze final and the final.|
|Canal+ ||27 matches that will not be broadcast by TF1.|
|Ireland||TV3 ||All 48 matches broadcast live.|
|Italy||Sky Sport ||All 48 matches broadcast live.|
|Netherlands||RTL7||24 matches broadcast live.|
|New Zealand||Sky Sport ||All 48 matches broadcast live.|
|South Africa||SuperSport ||All 48 matches broadcast live.|
| United Kingdom
(England, Scotland and Wales)
|ITV, ITV4 ||All 48 matches live on either ITV 1 or ITV 4 in UK territories.|
|BBC Radio||Will stream live radio commentary for all 48 games.|
|United States||Universal Sports
|Live coverage of nine matches between the two broadcasters - four USA pool matches, opening match, both semi-finals, bronze final and the final. UniversalSports.com will live stream all 48 matches online in the US.|
|Uruguay||ESPN ||At least 16 matches (all Argentina and Uruguay matches, plus all knock-out stages matches with the bronze final and the final).|
|Wales||S4C ||All Welsh matches live, the opening match, one quarter-final and one semi-final (regardless if Wales qualifies), the bronze final and the final.|
|BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru ||Will stream live radio commentary for all Wales games in English and Welsh.|
|ESPN, ESPN Brasil ||Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela||At least 16 matches (all Argentina and Uruguay matches, plus all knock-out stages matches with the bronze final and the final).|
|Eurosport ||Germany||20 matches live, including opening match and final|
|Viaplay, Viasat ||Sweden||All 48 matches broadcast live on OTT Service Viaplay. Selected games on Viasat Sport.|
Ticket prices were announced in November 2013 with general sale applications launching in September 2014. 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.
- Although England, and its governing body the Rugby Football Union, is officially the sole host nation of the tournament, some matches will be played in Cardiff, Wales.
- The IRB became World Rugby on the 19 November 2014. However, the 2015 World Cup will retain its IRB branding, given the proximity of the rebrand to the event, and as merchandise is already available with IRB branding. The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be the first to use full World Rugby branding
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