- England to play Rugby World Cup 2015 pool match at Manchester City Stadium
- Lancaster looking forward to travelling north
Photo: Getty Images
England will play at Manchester City Stadium for the first time in their final Rugby World Cup 2015 pool match with their three other group games taking place at Twickenham Stadium.
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The match schedule and venues for the tournament announced today show that England will open the event against the Oceania qualifier on Friday, September 18, 2015, before facing Pool A rivals Wales (September 26) and Australia (October 3).
Then they head to the North West and take on the qualifying play-off winners at the 47,800-seater home of Manchester City FC on October 10.
The 48 Rugby World Cup 2015 matches encompass 13 venues across the length of the country from Exeter to Newcastle and also include Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
The full list is: Twickenham Stadium (London), Wembley Stadium (London), Olympic Stadium (London), Millennium Stadium (Cardiff), Manchester City Stadium (Manchester), St James’ Park (Newcastle), Elland Road (Leeds), Leicester City Stadium (Leicester), Villa Park (Birmingham), Kingsholm Stadium (Gloucester), stadiummk (Milton Keynes), Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton) and Sandy Park (Exeter).
Rugby Football Union CEO Ian Ritchie welcomed the venue selections as well as the wider opportunities to grow the game in this country.
He said: “This is a very exciting next phase in the lead up to hosting the tournament in 2015, which we hope will have a huge impact on the game in England. Not only is there a wide geographical spread of venues, enabling more people to watch rugby than ever before, but it is truly a national event that the game and the country will feel a part of.”
“We need to seize the opportunity to bring the whole country together, to inspire a new generation of players, supporters and volunteers from new communities across the length and breadth of the land.”
And England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster added: ”Now we know the shape the tournament will take, it brings everything into a sharp focus with less than two and a half years to go before the Rugby World Cup kicks off on English soil.
“We always get terrific support at Twickenham Stadium so we’re looking forward to the three big games there as well as playing at Manchester City Stadium against the eventual play-off winners, which will conclude our Pool A matches.
“Taking England to the North is something we’ll relish. It’s an area that’s full of passion and pride with huge numbers of people playing and involved in the game, and I know we’ll get great support.
“All over the country, from St James’ Park in the North East to Sandy Park in the South West, the world’s best will be on show in 2015 and for all of us involved in rugby that represents a great opportunity for the game.”
England will be making their third appearance in Manchester in 18 years following previous games staged at Old Trafford. They were defeated 25-8 by New Zealand in 1997 and beat Argentina 37-15 there in 2009.
England’s Rugby World Cup 2015 match schedule
September 18: England v Oceania 1 (Twickenham Stadium)
September 26: England v Wales (Twickenham Stadium)
October 3: England v Australia (Twickenham Stadium)
October 10: England v Play Off Winner (City of Manchester Stadium)
For the full match schedule visit www.rugbyworldcup.com