- England will play France and Ireland in World Cup warm-ups
- Head coach Stuart Lancaster says preparation will be vital
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The final pieces of England's 2015 Rugby World Cup preparations have been confirmed after the announcement of three warm-up test matches in the lead up to the tournament, including two QBE Internationals at Twickenham Stadium.
Stuart Lancaster’s side will play two home QBE Internationals against France and Ireland on August 15 and September 5 at the home of England Rugby. A return fixture against the French on August 22 will break up the home matches.
The planned fixtures will be a good measure of progress ahead of the tournament, in which they will face Australia and Wales in the Pool stages, and Lancaster is relishing the prospect of facing the French and Irish ahead of the 2015 tournament.
“These test matches will be vital in our preparations for the World Cup,” said Lancaster. “To have two QBE Internationals at Twickenham Stadium, in front of our passionate fans, will be something to look forward to and we are grateful for the French and Irish unions for helping us arrange these fixtures so soon after the draw.”
It will be QBE, the business insurance specialist’s fourth year as title sponsor of the series. QBE is working closely with the RFU to support the development of rugby, which includes the recently launched QBE Coaching Club. This partnership between QBE and the RFU aims to recruit and train 2,015 new level two rugby coaches by 2015.
Richard Pryce, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of QBE European Operations, said: “We continue to be a proud partner of England Rugby, both through our sponsorship of the QBE Internationals and initiatives such as the QBE Coaching Club. We are delighted that the RFU has received such an overwhelming response to this new programme, with the 300 coaching places available in 2013 heavily oversubscribed. The Coaching Club reaffirms QBE’s commitment to support rugby at all levels and we look forward to seeing the results.”
Fixtures for the 2015 RWC warm up matches
August 15 – England v France QBE International
August 22 – France v England
September 5 – England v Ireland QBE International
Ticket prices and availability for the 2015 QBE Internationals will be announced in due course with details appearing on www.rfu.com