England to bid for 2015 World Cup

England will bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the Rugby Football Union has confirmed.

Details of the bid will be made public after it is presented to the International Rugby Board on 13 May.

Twickenham, Wembley and Old Trafford have been mentioned as possible venues, together with the Millennium Stadium.

RFU chief executive Francis Baron said: (quote) We believe it is time that we brought the tournament back to England, we are confident we would be able to provide the best platform to profile the sport on the world stage and enable us to make a lasting commitment to grassroots rugby.(end quote)

The RFU’s five-strong Dublin delegation will include 2003 World Cup winners Lawrence Dallaglio and Will Greenwood, plus Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Last week, Baron made us think that perhaps the RFU would pull out because of the £80m guarantee demanded by the IRB. Ireland and Scotland recently pulled out of any co-hosting bid with the RFU, while the decision for England to make a solo bid comes after Twickenham’s emphatic failure to stage the 2007 World Cup, having lost by a landslide margin to France.

However the government and the RFU have agreed a support package that will enable the RFU to bid. Andy Burnham said: (quote) England 2015 would be a superb addition to a great decade of sport in Britain. The RFU has pulled together an outstanding bid that will take the game to new audiences. It has the government’s full support and we will now work with them to make the case for it. (end quote)

Bids to host the tournament must be submitted by 8 May. The IRB will vote on the hosts for both the 2015 and 2019 World Cups on 28 July.