The eyes of the sporting world will be on England and Wales in September and October 2015, when the eighth installment of Rugby World Cup rumbles across the British countryside. The Tournament kicks off at Twickenham in late September and concludes six action-packed weeks later, and Rugby fans can catch all the action thanks to Travel Associates’ extensive range of ticket-and-travel packages.
The stirring strains of ‘Jerusalem’ will ring out proudly across the Twickenham terraces when hosts England kick off the Tournament on September 18, marking the start of one of the world’s toughest sporting competitions. 20 international teams will go head to head in 13 venues across England and Wales, with several of Rugby’s genuine heavyweights eyeing off the chance to claim the coveted Webb Ellis Cup.
Rugby World Cup 2015’s central hub is England’s cosmopolitan capital London. A buzzing metropolis of more than eight million residents, it’s no surprise the city will play host to no less than 17 of the Tournament’s 48 fixtures – including the feverishly anticipated Rugby World Cup Final on October 31. Twickenham will host the bulk of the matches, while a reconfigured Olympic Stadium and the new Wembley Stadium will also welcome Rugby World Cup fixtures onto their multipurpose turf.
London may hog the limelight, but there’s plenty more to see outside the capital’s confines. From the compact Sandy Park in Exeter to the revamped City of Manchester Stadium and multiple venues across the English Midlands, a trip to the Tournament ensures Rugby fans can explore plenty of British countryside. Even the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will host matches, adding a further edge to an age-old Rugby rivalry between England and Wales.
Never a team to back down from a challenge, Australia has the unenviable task of trying to come between England and Wales in one of the toughest pool-stage draws imaginable. All three teams will fight it out for one of two knock-out stage spots, with a qualifier from Oceania and a repechage playoff winner rounding out the pool. Both Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium will be rocking when the respective co-hosts run out in front of their own fans, making Australia’s attempt to secure a quarter-final berth all the more difficult.
Defending champions New Zealand can breathe a little easier after drawing South American heavyweights Argentina and regional rivals Tonga in its pool, as well as yet-to-be-determined qualifiers from Africa and Europe. With the two-time Rugby World Cup winners set to run out for its opener against Argentina at Wembley Stadium, there’ll be plenty of London-based Kiwi expatriates flying the Silver Fern flag in the stands.
The geographical spread of matches ensures visitors to Rugby World Cup 2015 can enjoy a wide variety of British hospitality. While most major cities will host fixtures – including Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle upon Tyne – so too will some of England’s lesser-known tourist towns. They include the picturesque cathedral city of Gloucester near the Welsh border, Rugby heartland Leicester and Exeter down in deepest, distant Devon.
There’s no reason to miss a minute of the action thanks to Travel Associates’ official travel-and-ticket bundles, which combine airfares and accommodation with exclusive match-day tickets and eliminate the hassle of organising your own tour. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is warming your vocal cords, as one of the world’s premier sporting events returns to the northern hemisphere to showcase the ultimate in international Rugby.
TM © RWC Ltd 1986