Debbie Jevans, CEO of England Rugby 2015 – the organising committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 – updates us on how plans are progressing for the tournament at the two years to go milestone.
At the two years to go milestone I am delighted by the progress made to date. We have an exciting 24 months ahead before Rugby World Cup begins in September 2015. I’m pleased that the key priorities for England Rugby 2015 – including building the team, selecting the match venues, finalising the schedule, setting the tournament vision and developing the detailed delivery plans and timelines – have all been completed. With the foundations now in place and strong support from the city councils and venues (who are absolutely key to our delivery), we will complete a busy 12 months with confirmation of kick-off times, ticketing strategy and pricing before the end of the year.
The tournament volunteer programme will be launched in early 2014. 6,000 volunteers will be required for RWC 2015. England Rugby 2015 will recruit 75% of volunteers from the existing rugby club volunteer network to reward and recognise those who help to deliver the game week in week out in their local communities. We are also eager to see new people accessing the sport and will recruit a further 25% of volunteers outside the game.
With over 80 bids received from more than 30 English counties and Wales to become RWC 2015 Team Bases, the search for the best possible facilities to host the world’s best teams continues. Team Bases, which consist of indoor and outdoor training facilities, hotel, gym and pool, will be selected and announced by the middle of next year, providing England Rugby 2015 with further opportunity to take the tournament to communities all around the country.
Next year England Rugby 2015 will also announce details of international and domestic Webb Ellis Cup tours, taking the Cup to most of the qualified nations and then all around the UK and Ireland. We are now focused on finalising the kick off times and the ticketing strategy by the end of the year and our aim is for tickets to be as affordable and accessible as possible. 2014 will see us move from planning to delivery as we begin to fully engage and mobilise these plans.
Our role as the Organising Committee is to host and stage a tournament that not only delivers the best possible experience for spectators and players, but also helps grow the game. We want RWC 2015 to be more than just a great Autumn of sport and are delighted to support the RFU’s legacy plans including the Posts in the Park programme, aimed at inspiring more people to play and support the game. We want more people playing, coaching, refereeing and volunteering, watching and talking about rugby. The tournament provides a unique opportunity for rugby in this country and we will support the RFU in delivering the greatest participation legacy for the game in any way we can.
As we reach this two years to go landmark, I am confident that preparations are on track to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2015 will be remembered as the best ever event, and will deliver unprecedented benefits to the host nation and to the profile and development of our sport and its values worldwide.
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