Planning and preparation for England’s hosting of Rugby World Cup 2015 has entered a new phase today with the formal opening of the England Rugby 2015 (ER 2015) offices in Twickenham and the appointment of key personnel with Tournament Organisers focused on delivering an outstanding sporting event.
With the hosting baton having been passed from New Zealand to England, 2012 represents a big year for the delivery of one of the world’s biggest sporting events with a number of operational landmarks to be achieved along the way.
ER 2015 CEO Paul Vaughan and Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Managing Director Mike Miller were joined by ER 2015 ambassadors Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood and Maggie Alphonsi to welcome members of the media to the ER 2015 offices situated on Rugby Road, opposite Twickenham Stadium where the Rugby World Cup 2015 Final will be played.
This is an exciting time for Rugby with England Rugby 2015, Rugby World Cup Limited and the International Rugby Board sharing a vision of a truly world class event to delight existing fans from across the globe, attract new supporters and leave a lasting legacy for the sport in England and throughout the world.
Vaughan said: “I have absolutely no doubt that we can deliver the best Rugby World Cup yet. Looking at likely ticket sales I am sure that the nine million Rugby fans in England will be keen to be there, together with a wider audience from across Europe and the travelling supporters from around the world we saw at RWC 2011 in New Zealand. It will be a fantastic shop window for our sport which will help the legacy and a real boost for the UK economy.”
Miller added: “Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand was an exceptional event that set the bar for other hosts to follow, capturing the imagination of the global sporting family and uniting a nation behind a tournament that was underpinned by a strong partnership between the IRB, Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited, the New Zealand Rugby Union, Government and Regional authorities.”
“Planning and preparation for Rugby World Cup 2015 is well underway and today’s announcement is another key step in the process. We have developed a strong partnership with ER 2015 based on a shared vision of delivering a tournament that will provide the profile, participation and financial foundations for Rugby to continue its phenomenal growth around the world.”
“The recipe for the successful delivery of an outstanding Rugby World Cup 2015 in England is not to replicate New Zealand, but to collaborate with all stakeholders, including Government and Regional Authorities, to ensure a unique and theme that will reach out to communities where Rugby is not yet popular, showcase the UK and welcome fans from around the world.”
“I am sure that Rugby World Cup 2015 will be an outstanding tournament that the country and the global Rugby family will be proud of.”
Vaughan announced the appointment of top personnel for his ER 2015 Organising team. The ER 2015 Board includes: the RFU’s new CEO Ian Ritchie; RFU Chief Financial Officer, Stephen Brown; Professional Game Board Chairman, Ian Metcalfe; Injured Players Foundation Chairman and former RFU President, John Owen and from the RFU Council the Championship’s Geoff Irvine.
They are also joined by Ian Watmore and Andrew Cosslett. The former is Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office and the Government’s Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the Government’s Efficiency and Reform agenda. Previously Watmore served as the Football Association’s CEO, steering them through financial problems after the bankruptcy of Setanta. Cosslett was until recently CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group as well as being a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council, a member of the President’s Committee of the CBI and a Board member of the International Tourism Partnership.
Cosslett has stepped in to be Chairman of the ER 2015 Board while the search for an Independent Chairman is undertaken.
A team of senior professional staff with significant experience and expertise is already being put in place with appointments already made including: Chief Operating Officer, Ross Young; General Manager Rugby & Venue Operations, Simon Jelowitz; General Manager City & Regional Operations, Mick Hogan; General Manager Corporate Services, Holly Hammill; and General Manager Marketing & Communications, Jon Duckworth.
This year will see the delivery of significant operational milestones:
- A February debrief of RWC 2011 with RWCL, RNZ 2011, ER 2015 and Japan 2019 to identify key hosting and operational learnings and transfer best-practice delivery knowledge to the 2015 hosts.
- RWC 2015 Tournament dates determined in early March 2012
- The confirmation of chosen RWC 2015 match venues
- The development of the Tournament ticketing strategy
- The Pool Allocation Draw at end of the year
- The first RWC 2015 qualifying matches
Looking ahead to 2012 and on his new appointments, Vaughan added: “I believe that we have recruited some of the best people around in order to deliver the event and people are key in ensuring this is the best Rugby World Cup. The next 12 months will be very exciting and will set the framework through to the event itself in 2015. Getting it right now is important and I’m confident that we will.”
About England Rugby 2015 Ltd (ER 2015): England Rugby 2015 Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RFU, set up as the body to deliver the Rugby World Cup 2015.
About Rugby World Cup: Rugby World Cup is the third largest sports event in the world. The inaugural tournament took place in 1987 and it is held every four years and the 2011 tournament in New Zealand enjoyed a cumulative worldwide broadcast audience of more than four billion.
For the latest on RWC 2015 visit www.rugbyworldcup.com.