Thomas set for top World Cup role
August 3, 2010
Martyn Thomas will take charge of England Rugby 2015 © Getty Images
RFU chairman Martyn Thomas is set to take over as chairman of England Rugby 2015 Ltd, the body responsible for ticket sales at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
According to reports in The Daily Telegraph, Thomas will leave his position with the RFU in 2011 to begin the role, which will be of vital importance given their intention to re-invest profits from the tournament into the grassroots game in England. The RFU's pitch planned for 3,000,000 seats to be sold, an increase of 30% on the successful 2007 event in France.
Thomas will preside over a board also featuring newly-appointed RFU chief executive John Steele and an as-yet-unnamed government minister.
The RFU's ambitious bid for the World Cup will feature games spread across traditional rugby grounds, including Twickenham, Kingsholm, Welford Road and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium as well as football stadia. Manchester United's Old Trafford, Liverpool's Anfield, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and the new Wembley will all hold matches.
The tournament will run between September 4 and October 17 2015, with the IRB set to make around £300m from sponsorship, merchandising and television fees. British broadcaster ITV is reported to have paid in the region of £60-70m for rights to the tournament and its predecessor in New Zealand next year.
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery