Millennium Stadium could host 2015 World Cup matches

 

The International Rugby Board have hinted that they may allow Wales to play some of their 2015 World Cup matches at the Millennium Stadium.

The Cardiff venue is just one of many arenas organisers are looking at using during the World Cup despite the fact that England are supposed to be the only country to host games as they did not bid for the competition on a joint platform.

The IRB board will meet with organisers in March to discuss dates and stadia to be used in the tournament, and it is thought that Wales may be allowed to play some of their pool games at home in the 74,500-seater stadium in their own capital.

"Yes there is an issue of Wales playing at 'home', but for people in the west of England, it's much easier to get to Cardiff than it is to get London," IRB chief executive Mike Miller said.

"Firstly we will set the dates for the tournament, then we will see what stadia are available and move forward from there.

"No decision has been taken on use of the Millennium Stadium yet. That will be part of the meeting."

The planning for the 2015 World Cup started in earnest yesterday with the launch of a new HQ for the host organisation, England Rugby 2015 (ER 2015), opposite Twickenham.

The organisation have set themselves the huge task of putting on the best Rugby World Cup in the competition's 25-year-history - a feat that will be particularly hard given the success of last year's tournament in New Zealand.

Around 1.4million tickets were sold at last year's event but ER 2015 are hopeful of selling at least double that amount, with the cheapest prices for pool games being available for less than £10.

One of the few negative stories that came out of last year's event was a threat from New Zealand and Australia to boycott any future World Cup unless they received a bigger share of the revenue generated from the competition.

The IRB consider that matter closed, however, and have no fear that two of the biggest nations in world rugby will not take part in the 2015 tournament.

"We'll have no trouble persuading them to participate," Miller added.

"When it comes to distribution of revenues everyone always wants to try to maximise what they get.

"It's complex, as you can imagine. We have another meeting of the tier one chairmen and chief executives in March to discuss these issues."

PA

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