Tuesday, 28 July 2009

England await 2015 Cup decision


England are favourites to be awarded the right to stage the 2015 Rugby World Cup on Tuesday.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) will announce the hosts of the 2015 and 2019 events in Dublin.

England are being heavily tipped to land the event after the competition's organisers recommended their bid to the IRB council.
South Africa, Japan and Italy are also in contention for 2015, with Japan being recommended as hosts for 2019.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) claims England would lay on the biggest World Cup to date, generating a surplus at least £60m bigger than that of the other bids.
It says three million people would watch the games live at stadiums such as Wembley, Anfield, Old Trafford and Twickenham.
The RFU also hopes to stage matches at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, even though Wales would not be co-hosts for the tournament.
To be successful, England must win at least 14 votes from the 24-strong IRB council. The bid received a major boost in June when England were declared as the preferred bidder of Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL), the body inside the IRB which organises the tournament.
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But South Africa, who were upset at losing out on the recommendation, have been lobbying hard ahead of Tuesday's meeting
They have been pressing home the fact they have secured government support totalling £130m - £50m more than the tournament fee - compared to the £25m Westminster has made available to the RFU.
Chairman of the South African bid committee Mark Alexander told the BBC: "We are extremely disappointed that the tender process wasn't followed to the letter and also by the recommendation.
"If one looks at the numbers and the quality of the tender then we believe we have been done in here.
"We are not saying that there is a stitch-up but we don't believe that the process was free and fair."
Japan, aiming to be the first Asian country to host the Rugby World Cup, narrowly lost out to New Zealand in the voting for the 2011 event.
RWCL believe that having the World Cup in England would generate sufficient revenue to allow the IRB to take it into the emerging market of Japan four years later.
"I think we have done everything we could but our campaign will continue until midnight in the hotel bar on Monday," said Nobby Mashimo, Japan's bid chief.
In the past, Rugby World Cup votes have been blighted by accusations of horse-trading, with claims that nations have swapped votes for the right to stage lucrative matches.
England was a co-host of the tournament in 1991 and 1999, while South Africa won the event on home soil in 1995.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the 2015 Rugby World Cup would form part of a "golden decade" of sport in the UK, sandwiched between the 2012 Olympics and the football World Cup, which the Football Association is hopeful of bringing to English soil in 2018.

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