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May 5, 2013

2015 World Cup to embrace late kick-offs

Posted by Jonny McLeod on 05/05/2013

Almost half of the Rugby World Cup matches in 2015 will kick off in the evening, according to a reports in the Sunday Times.

The report suggests that 22 of the 48 matches in the tournament will kick off at 8pm with just ten matches set for a 3pm start due to pressure from southern hemisphere unions.

England will open the tournament with an evening kick-off on Friday September 18 and the reports claims all of Stuart Lancaster's remaining matches will be scheduled for an evening slot.

During the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, many of the fixtures took place in the evenings to accommodate the European television audience.

April 19, 2013

Lapasset to stand for SportAccord presidency

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 04/19/2013

International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset has announced that he is standing for the presidency of SportAccord, the umbrella organisation for both Olympic and non-Olympic international sports federations as well as organisers of international sporting events.

Lapasset said: “SportAccord is a key organisation for the development and promotion of sport, its values and benefits and I am honoured to stand for this critical role. It is an exciting time for SportAccord with many opportunities to reinforce and enhance the service it provides its members and to work in partnership with them to develop and grow sport, addressing the challenges it faces and promoting its positive role in society.”

“It is important that SportAccord is at the heart of the global sporting community. It must reinforce the unity of the international sporting family while recognising the diversity of the SportAccord members.”

March 16, 2013

Cyprus clock up record-breaking win

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/16/2013

Cyprus beat Bulgaria 79-10 to bring their winning run to 18-consecutive wins.

Cyprus have been unbeaten for over four years, since their only previous defeat at Test level; 14-23 to Israel in Netanya in the promotion play-offs for the FIRA/AER Championships on September 6, 2008. That means, prior to today's game, they were on 17-consecutive wins - a record shared between three other countries. But today's triumph over Bulgaria puts them top of the charts, according to ESPNscrum's records.

The IRB claims that Lithuania have also gone 18-matches unbeaten but they do not include an 18-3 loss to Armenia which occurred during the winning sequence.

February 23, 2013

Jason Leonard set to become RFU vice-president

Posted by Jeremy Inson on 02/23/2013

Former England and Lions prop Jason Leonard is reportedly in-line to take over as president of the Rugby Football Union in time for the 2015 World Cup after being voted onto the RFU board.

The 44-year-old Leonard won the nomination for junior vice-president next season by defeating former England captain John Spencer in a secret ballot during a RFU council meeting on Friday, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Leonard will need his nomination to be ratified at the RFU annual general meeting in July, but he is not expected to face any further opposition.

February 17, 2013

Cardiff could yet host England v Wales clash

Posted by Jonny McLeod on 02/17/2013

England’s Rugby World Cup 2015 pool clash with Wales could yet be played at the Millennium Stadium.

The Rugby Football Union are adamant they want the clash played at Twickenham to maximise their advantage of hosting the tournament. But England 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans insists no decision will be made in March, with the Millennium Stadium set to a central role in the tournament.

“You can’t make everyone happy,” Jevans told the Rugby Paper. “Part of the bid was to have the Millennium Stadium there because it is one of the great rugby venues.

“So when we are looking at it, for Wales to play there is absolutely a consideration. So everyting is up for discussion at the moment.”

February 4, 2013

England confirm pre-2015 World Cup schedule

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 02/04/2013

The Rugby Football Union has announced a trio of warm-up Tests for England which will occur the run up to the next World Cup.

England start against France at Twickenham on August 15 and will then take on Les Bleus on their home turf a week later on August 22. They finish their trio of warm-up clashes when they host Ireland at Twickenham on September 5.

"These Test matches will be vital in our preparations for the World Cup," Stuart Lancaster said. "To have two internationals at Twickenham Stadium, in front of our passionate fans, will be something to look forward to and we are grateful to the French and Irish unions for helping us arrange these fixtures so soon after the draw.”

January 4, 2013

Manning-Cooper joins World Cup team

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 01/04/2013

World Cup organisers England Rugby 2015 have turned to another former Olympics official to fill a key role within their organisation.

Joanna Manning-Cooper has appointed as ER2015's new communications and marketing director having previously acted as head of public relations for the London 2012 Olympics.

Debbie Jevans, chief executive of ER 2015 and herself a former London 2012 executive, said: "We want Rugby World Cup 2015 in England to be the best World Cup ever. With less than 1,000 days to go to the tournament we are strengthening our senior team, and Joanna has been appointed following a competitive recruitment process for this important new role within the ER 2015 leadership team. Joanna did an exceptional job for London 2012 and her skills and experience in major sporting events will be a great asset as we promote Rugby World Cup 2015 to the world."