England to hit the road during World Cup?
September 18, 2012
Twickenham marks the three-year countdown to the World Cup © England Rugby 2015
England could be set to go on the road in the 2015 World Cup in an attempt to drum up interest from the whole country and not just the south.
With the showpiece event three years away today, the organising committee are open to the idea of shifting England to the north for a warm up game prior to the World Cup or even a group game. England have played two internationals at Old Trafford in the past - tackling Argentina in 2009 and the All Blacks in 1997.
And England Rugby 2015 chairman Andy Cosslett has revealed that they could be set to return to the north once again.
"Those are options that are under consideration and are being discussed with the RFU," Cosslett said. "There is a tremendous appetite for making sure this World Cup gets to as many corners of the country as we can take it.
"Taking it out of the traditional rugby strongholds, where we are fighting the battle against Premier League football teams, is a priority. The RFU are very supportive of that. We haven't come to a final conclusion yet, but I think you will find there are a fair few northerners (at the RFU) like (England head coach) Stuart Lancaster and (chief executive) Ian Ritchie so I am sure that we can do the right thing."
There have been worries that traditional rugby strongholds - with just Twickenham, Welford Road and Kingsholm believed to be on the shortlist - are being overlooked in favour of profit but ER 2015 chief operating officer Ross Young has demanded that football grounds will have to "buy in" to the World Cup and not take their involvement forgranted.
But he conceded that any stadium used in the competition must be able to help deliver the body's overall target of raising £100million."There is always a desire to include at least one rugby club, but it all has got to fit properly. You have to put the right games in the right venues."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column