RWC 2015 Venues and Fixtures Announced

The 13 match venues and host cities for Rugby World Cup 2015 selected are:

Twickenham Stadium (London)
Wembley Stadium (London)
Olympic Stadium (London)
Millennium Stadium (Cardiff)
Manchester City Stadium (Manchester)
St James’ Park (Newcastle)
Elland Road (Leeds)
Leicester City Stadium (Leicester)
Villa Park (Birmingham)
Kingsholm Stadium (Gloucester)
stadiummk (Milton Keynes)
Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton)
Sandy Park (Exeter)

Rugby Football Union CEO Ian Ritchie welcomed the venue selections as well as the wider opportunities to grow the game in this country.

He said: “This is a very exciting next phase in the lead up to hosting the tournament in 2015, which we hope will have a huge impact on the game in England. Not only is there a wide geographical spread of venues, enabling more people to watch rugby than ever before, but it is truly a national event that the game and the country will feel a part of.”

“We need to seize the opportunity to bring the whole country together, to inspire a new generation of players, supporters and volunteers from new communities across the length and breadth of the land.”

And England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster added: ”Now we know the shape the tournament will take, it brings everything into a sharp focus with less than two and a half years to go before the Rugby World Cup kicks off on English soil.

“We always get terrific support at Twickenham Stadium so we’re looking forward to the three big games there as well as playing at the Manchester City Stadium against the eventual play-off winners which will conclude our Pool A matches.

“Taking England to the North is something we’ll relish. It’s an area that’s full of passion and pride with huge numbers of people playing and involved in the game, and I know we’ll get great support.

“All over the country, from St James’ Park in the North East to Sandy Park in the South West, the world’s best will be on show in 2015 and for all of us involved in rugby that represents a great opportunity for the game.”

So the spread is pretty good, with the rugby likely to reach all parts of England (and even creep into Wales), but from a rugby fan’s point of view there are disappointingly few genuine rugby stadiums on the list. The West Country will be well-represented, with Gloucester’s Kingsholm and Exeter’s Sandy Park making the list, but outside of this the only one is Twickenham (and the Millenium Stadium, although that’s more of a multi-purpose one). What is your reaction to the list? Are there any grounds you would have preferred to see on there?

The Home Nations’ fixtures are as follows:

18/09/2015    TBC    A    England    Oceania 1    Twickenham
26/09/2015    TBC    A    England    Wales    Twickenham
03/10/2015    TBC    A    England    Australia    Twickenham
10/10/2015    TBC    A    England    Play-off Winner    Manchester City Stadium

20/09/2015    TBC    A    Wales    Play-off Winner    Millennium Stadium
26/09/2015    TBC    A    England    Wales    Twickenham
01/10/2015    TBC    A    Wales    Oceania 1    Millennium Stadium
10/10/2015    TBC    A    Australia    Wales    Twickenham

19/09/2015    TBC    D    Ireland    Americas 1    Millennium Stadium
27/09/2015    TBC    D    Ireland    Europe 2    Wembley
04/10/2015    TBC    D    Ireland    Italy    Olympic Stadium
11/10/2015 TBC D France Ireland Millennium Stadium

23/09/2015    TBC    B    Scotland    Asia 1    Kingsholm
27/09/2015    TBC    B    Scotland    Americas 2    Elland Road
03/10/2015    TBC    B    South Africa    Scotland    St James’ Park
10/10/2015    TBC    B    Samoa    Scotland    St James’ Park

For the full fixture list (including venues), CLICK HERE.

50 thoughts on “RWC 2015 Venues and Fixtures Announced

  1. So Wales travel to Twickenham for their games vs England (obviously) and Australia (perhaps less obviously)

    1. Yeah, a bit of tactical planning there. Wales also have a 6 day turnaround after previous match, compared to England’s 8.

    2. As they should do! England are hosting the thing not Wales. Why should they get home advantage in either of these crucial games?

    3. As they should, maybe this will make them quieten down insisting the England versus Wales game should be played in Cardiff despite it being Englands tounament.

      Also seems like a bit of brinksmanship where two of our biggest Rugby foes get no advantage.

      1. bit of a farce if u ask me. bring on the 2016 winter tests. england v wales at twickenham. england v australia at twickenham. england play at twickenham whether they win or get 2nd in rhe pool. if england win their qf they play at twickenham. if england win their sf they play at .. u guessed it.. twickenham. rugby may never be truly advanced enough to be credible past the one off test stage. but stil im looking forward to it and will forgive all if the reffing and officials standards are high. im hoping for a miracle..

        1. I totally disagree it’s England’s tournamnet so therefore it makes sense they play most of the games at Twickenham, this would be the same in football for Wembley andcricket for Lords and you forget to mention one of the group games is at the Etihad.

          1. Ummmm…Mitchell, just cos the Millenium stadium was thrown a bone with a few matches staged there, does not mean that the hosting nation should not have home advantage

            Or do you think the Kiwis should have had a few games in Aus during the last World Cup just to even it out?

    4. I suspect Aus lobbied hard for a neutral venue, although given their record at the MS recently and Wales’s at Twickers maybe it was the other way around?

  2. Good to see stadiums like Kingsholm and Sandy Park being used. They aren’t going to fill 80,000 seater stadiums for some of the smaller matches so have a smaller stadium in an area that will probably fill it and have some atmosphere. The biggest crime will be using larger football stadiums and not having them full. If they can fill them it shows why the smaller capacity rugby grounds weren’t chosen. If they can’t questions need to be asked.

    1. scotland play what will probably be japan in the pool in a smaller one. i think thats a miscalculation. and thats without looking

  3. Great news for Sandy Park

    Little concerned about dome of the back to back games in football stadiums and the pitch holding up with the shorter grass

  4. Minnows get short straw again with Wales home against them but playing the big boys at Twickenham -England fair enough it’s your home tournament but looks like Australia pulled rank as well .

    Millenium not a real rugby stadium but more a multi purpose one well really !! I use my car to carry stuff sometimes but it’s still not a van.

    1. Excellent PontyLad – Mill Stadium is the most proper rugby stadium in the world.

      Ben H I agree with you about England’s home matches should be at Twicks, but it’s a bit rich to finagle the schedule to give Wales 2 days less recovery time? Scared perhaps?

      1. “Mill Stadium is the most proper rugby stadium in the world.”
        Twickenham is nicknamed HQ because it is the home of rugby… it has a built in museum all to do with the history of the game. and it is the stadium dedicated to rugby in the nation where the game is said to have been invented.

        and on your point about the schedule being “finagled” because people are “scared” of wales. i am pretty sure that the schedule is determined by the IRB, not the RFU.

        1. The English call it HQ, you’ll find the rest of us refer to it ironically as HQ.

          This is an odd debate but … being the place where rugby was invented is irrelevant for the rugby experience it gives now. Ask any player in the world which is the best rugby stadium they’ve played in and, if they’ve played in the MS, it wins.

          It was a joke about the schedule, obviously.

          1. having lived in Australia, and also having seen numerous international teams come to twickenham, you will notice that a large number of the players refer to twickenham as “the home of rugby”… hence where the name HQ came from, and they all say it is a special experience to play at twickenham. So no, the rest of the world do not refer to Twickenham as HQ ironically.
            Also i know for a FACT that people have played at the millenium and do not say that it is their favourite stadium.

            Sure, the MS is a good experience, i wont deny that. but that is because of the atmosphere brought by the welsh people. i will also conceed that although twickenham has a greater capacity, that the MS is a bit more modern, and the roof helps a lot, both in making it modern, and in having all the songs and cheers reverberate round.
            Twickenham has history and there is a magic there, because it is the home of rugby.

            I wouldnt claim that Twickers is every players favourite place to play, because the reality is, players like to play somewhere that is special to them. Most of the Qld Reds players will tell you that their favourite pitch is Ballymore, not the suncorp, and that is because the place has history.

          2. Ironically “HQ” was built on a cabbage patch which is what the MS pitch resembles most matches.

        2. that sounds like english code speak for: if things work well its because of the rfu. if something doeent its the irbs fault. luckily ill be in passive mode if and when they start patting themselves on the back unless they deliver with good officiating which is all i really care about.theres at least 3 refs i can think of that need to retire.

          1. completely the opposite mitchell.

            firstly, if things go well it is because the players and management have manage to perform. the RFU are a bunch of politicians who just frankly make things more difficult than they should.

            the point i was making is that suggestions (however jokey they were) that the schedule was fixed because england may be scared of wales is entirely absurd, because the schedule is sorted by the IRB and NOT the RFU, therefore the fixing would be pretty hard from an english point of view.

          2. Your point is absurd because it was a joke. Everyone knows the IRB make the schedule, nobody is paranoid enough to think it was done to advantage England – the fact you still felt the need to argue it as some sort of legal case is just plain weird.

          3. brighty.

            interesting that you say everyone knows the irb make the schedule, because when reading Mitchell’s comment it could be quite easily seen as not being the case.

            Suggesting that the RFU can pat themselves on the back if things go well seems to insinuate that they had something to do with it. And his use of “sounds like English code” also suggested that i was trying to cover for the RFU.

            And with regards to you saying that i am arguing it as a “legal case” i apologise for forming my arguments logically and in a structured fashion, being fresh out of uni it is the only way i am used to. next time i will try and make it less coherent for you.

          4. Yeah, us plebs who merely teach in Uni’s need our arguments to be dumbed down for us so I’ll be looking out for any smart cogent arguments and jumping straight on top of em.

          5. brighty, you are the one who criticised me for it. which is surprising given you are a lecturer… given your profession, i would have thought that you of all people would have appreciated it.

      2. Is a 6 day turn around that significant? Hmm the loss to Wales is now making more sense…

        1. 6 day turnaround is worth about twenty points. So it’s good job we stuffed you by 27 to rule that out….

          1. So that explains Samoa losing to Wales in the last World Cup!

            I was sure they’d win that game

  5. Near my doorstep of Covnetry I have two interesting games South Africa V Samoa at Villa Park and Argentina V Tonga at Leicester.

  6. Still don’t see why the Millenium Stadium is being used for an English tournament, but that is the nature of modern day horsetrading and politics at the top level. I do quite like it as a stadium, but just not an ENGLISH Stadium.

    Having said that it is convenient for me and I am hoping to take advantage to watch a game there!

    1. completely agree.

      i see the sense in using it. it is a good stadium, and it is well geared up for big international matched.

      however the fact that some welshmen seem annoyed at not being able to play their pool games there is silly. this is England’s tournament. the welsh didnt expect to play any of their pool games in cardiff in 2011 or 2003, because they were not the hosts. once again, wales are not the hosts, so the fact that they felt they should be playing in wales, and especially to have suggested that they should play the hosts in wales was just plain cheek. after all, we didnt have any of this happening when Cardiff was used as a venue in 07…

      personally i think that the welsh should just feel lucky and privileged that their home ground will be used in 2 world cups within a 12 year period, neither of which they have actually been the hosts of.

      1. Simo, you’re spot on. Us welsh should feel lucky and privileged to be involved. Thank you very much for your largess and good grace. We are so very very grateful sir.

        1. glad you get it brighty.

          on a more serious note. i probably miss-worded my comments earlier, but my point still stands. Wales have not hosted the tournament since 1995, and yet on two occasions since (including this upcoming one) they have had the opportunity to play some of their pool games at home. This is a unique situation that no other nation has had the chance to do. But instead of being quietly smug at the fact they they are practically playing at home, they decide to push things and suggest that the host nation should travel to wales to play them. Can you honestly tell me that you did not think that this was a bit cheeky of the WRU at the time?

          As I said, i miss-worded it earlier, and should have used words like privileged, but surely you can see the point that Wales have landed a bit of a bonus having their home stadium selected, and yet they still decided to to take the p**s and try to suggest they should have home advantage over the hosts…

          1. Simo, I think the offer to play the game in Wales was tongue in cheek. That’s the way I read it when it was made anyway. A little bit of banter. Everyone knows the host nation want and deserve to play their matches at their home. They’d be daft not too.

            Agree with you partly about it being daft that the cup isn’t all in one country – that’s the fault of the arcane IRB voting system that makes horse trading essential. However I do have one concern that if the IRB start demanding (which they are) that world cups can only be played in one country then countries like Wales will never get a chance as we don’t have the stadium range.

            Anyway – I am happy it’s in England and I am looking forward to seeing some of the games in Gloucs and hopefully the Olympic stadium.

          2. very fair points. I did not initially read it as tongue in cheek, but then again i am ever the pessimist, so i will fight my natural behaviour and give the benefit of the doubt here.

            I entirely agree with you other comments. i do not think that the IRB should be saying a tournament should be solely in one nation. Especially when it comes to the British and Irish isles, after all we all gather together to play as the Lions… Also, unlike in Aus, SA and NZ, we tend to have a single designated home stadium, and therefore rugby stadia do not get the development needed (hence the high number of non-rugby stadia on the list)

            Another reason that these demands by the IRB are silly is because the evidence from the NZ world cup showed that their Stadia simply were not big enough. Why wouldnt you take the chance to use Twickenham, MS, Murrayfield and the Aviva if you had the chance? All of them are above 50k capacity, and yet we have to settle for somewhere like Glous. Kingsholme is a good ground, but is has a capacity of less than 17k, and isnt the most modern, so it seems a waste.

            I wouldnt mind seeing wales have the world cup again, then they can play england in the MS (joking!)

            on a more serious note, i think that part of the reason wales would struggle is (obviously ignoring the stadia issue because you rightly pointed that out already) the lack of spare money the WRU has. the 4 regions have publicly admitted financial problems (hence why we have seen so many players go to france) so the WRU cant afford to help them, try and retain top players AND spend on a world cup on top. its good to see that they actually have the priorities in order and are focusing on trying to sort the game domestically first (the RFU should take note)

      2. and england should feel priviliged that they have a fantastic premiership football league to let them afford to host the rugby world cup

    2. I’m pretty sure that it was the same when Wales hosted in ’99? I know for definite that France had some games, not sure if England did? And again when France hosted in 07 i know MS had some games, again not sure if England did? To me it seems daft to not take advantage of some great venues on your doorstep(s). I dont see what the issue is? England don’t have to play anywhere other than England so what’s the worry? The real people to lose out will be the minnow nations (again).

      1. I think that the issue is not that there is an issue with the MS. I’ve already said it’s a good venue, it’s just that it is an English RWC, and if that is the case it should be English venues. If it was a joint English/Welsh RWC no problem (and I wouldn’t mind a joint RWC like that). I would have the same beef if it was a Welsh RWC and England played at Twickenham. The reason at the end of the day is money. The MS can hold a large number of paying punters and will be full for Welsh games.

  7. I like the look of the schedule from an Eng perspective. Competative opener against Fiji will test both the fwds and our defense and then straight into the crucial games. Much pefer that to the usual stuttering early performances with one eye on the later games. IF all goes well and Eng win first 3 matches the pressure on the Wal/ Aus match will be huge. Of course we could conceivably be going home by that point too but after the olympics I have a renewed faith that a home event will inspire the team.

  8. Why so many football grounds? If England hosted a football world cup I bet they wouldn’t use the likes of Sandy Park, Twickenham and Kingsholm.

    1. Larger capacity – more paying punters. Simple economics rather than rugby legacy. As previously stated, they better fill those stadiums, otherwise there ought to be a mass firing squad. Bet Andrew comes through unscathed though!

  9. Don’t forget that in the 1999 RWC – hosted by Wales – England had to play their quarter final in, erm, Paris?? ;-)

    1. As indeed they did in 1991 also. But that time against France.

      They also played the Semi-final against Scotland at – Murrayfield.

      I do realise that it was 20 years ago, but it is very interesting to see the list of grounds used for the 91 World Cup, including one game at, er, Otley RFC!

      Certainly it shows how the RWC has progressed.

      1. Sardis road got a game in the 91 World Cup I know I was standing there in the shed when Western Samoa beat Argentina .

        Twickenham purloined the 2 semi-finals in 99 but we were allowed to hold the final at the Millenium
        ;-). Neither England nor Wales were good enough to get to a semi but I guess there was a chance they could have met at Twickenham if they had been in a Cup Wales were hosting .

        The Celtic countries face a problem in hosting the World Cup as a solo venture due to lack of venues and the size of the thing now so probably joint hosting is the only way they’ll get one in future.

        Still it’ll be nice to visit my daughter in the Rugby hotbed of Brighton to see for example Namibia v Russia .

  10. Hello guys
    Let’s remember that rugby has turned professional and it is a product but also that the main part of this product is the player.
    These players come from junior teams throughout the country nurtured by volunteer coaches and volunteers
    Therefore to keep our sport popular and accessible to the kids use the biggest venues and get the kids in free , adults will pay if there kids are there !
    It does not matter if it is venues in any home nation country or football ground !
    Professional players can play anywhere !

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