England to host Rugby World Cup

England will host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the International Rugby Board have announced.

The 26-man IRB council, meeting in Dublin today, voted to ratify a recommendation from the World Cup board that confirmed England as 2015 hosts with Japan to stage the tournament in 2019.

The Rugby Football Union beat competition from South Africa and Italy after submitting a commercial package worth an estimated £300million to the global game.

The 2015 World Cup will run from September 4 to October 17, when the final will be played at Twickenham.

Matches will be staged in 10 cities and 12 stadia across the country including Wembley, Old Trafford, the Emirates Stadium, Anfield and the Millennium Stadium, which is the only venue being used outside England.

The last time England hosted the tournament was in 1991, when Will Carling's team were beaten in the final by Australia.

Since then, rugby union has turned professional and the World Cup has developed into the globe's third biggest sporting event.

Hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup is estimated by Deloittes to be worth £2.1billion to the British economy.

The tournament forms a central plank of Britain's so-called "decade of sport", which also includes the 2012 Olympics, the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and potentially the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Between them, England and Japan landed 16 of the 26 votes in favour of rubber-stamping the Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) recommendations.

The recommendations made by the RWCL board were based on a detailed analysis of all bids conducted by Deloitte, IMG and legal giants Clifford Chance.

An England World Cup is projected to earn the IRB £220million in broadcasting, sponsorship, hospitality and merchandising revenues which was 20% higher than any other bidder.

That commercial strength would also help the IRB bolster revenues from the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand - which is currently estimated to make an operating loss of between £20-30million - by tying television rights for both tournaments in one package.

Additionally, there was also a widespread desire for rugby to break new ground by taking the 2019 World Cup to Asia after Japan were controversially overlooked for the 2011 tournament.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said it was a "fantastic achievement" to win the bid and congratulated the RFU on their success.

He said: "I'm sure the whole country will want to play their part in making this the most memorable of Rugby World Cups.

"I'd also like to say how pleased I am that the 2013 Rugby League World Cup will be held in the UK.

"It really is a great opportunity to inspire a generation of young people to play the game and together with Sport England's £30million support for grassroots rugby, the sport has some exciting years to look forward to.

"The Rugby World Cup is yet another tremendous event to add to the country's decade of sport and another chance to show our nation's passion for sport and what world class facilities we have to offer. I'm sure it will be a tournament to remember."

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Rugby has a passionate and loyal following in England, the country where this great sport first kicked off. With the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2010, the men's tournament in 2015 is another feather in the cap for the sport and adds to London's outstanding calendar of international sporting events - from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, and the NFL at Wembley to the Tour de France Grand Depart.

"London has some of the finest sporting venues in the world - Twickenham, of course, as well as Wembley and the Emirates Stadium. But from 2012 there will be another, excellent new venue, the Olympic Stadium. We will discuss the option of it providing another base with the RFU and work with them to ensure the 2015 Rugby World Cup is the best ever tournament."