Olympic Stadium still in World Cup mix
March 3, 2013
The Olympic Stadium in Stratford appears unlikely to be part of 2015 Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
Reported World Cup venues:
Rugby World Cup organisers insist that they are still in negotiations to secure the use of the Olympic Stadium for the sport's next showpiece event in 2015.
Recent reports suggested that the focal point for the 2012 London Olympics would not be included on the 12-venue list set to be submitted to the Rugby World Cup Limited board on March 15. However, The Daily Telegraph reports that discussions between England Rugby 2015 (ER 2015), the organisers of the tournament, and the London Legacy Development Corporation are ongoing.
"We are in talks with LLDC to see whether it is practical and possible to do so [name the Olympic Stadium as one of the 12 venues]," the ER 2015 spokesman told the newspaper.
The iconic stadium was included on a 17-venue long list of potential venues last year but issues surrounding the signing off a tenancy deal with Premier League football club West Ham United and subsequent construction work delays were thought to have ended ER 2015's hopes of capitalising on the undoubted success of the Olympics.
Only three traditional rugby stadiums are expected to be included in the final list of venues - Twickenham, the Millennium Stadium and Gloucester's Kingsholm with Leicester's 24,000-capacity Welford Road, the biggest club rugby ground in the country, controversially omitted earlier in the process.
The tournament is set to be dominated by football stadiums around the country with their larger capacity offering organisers the best chance of selling their target of 2.9m tickets and recouping the £80m hosting fee. Twickenham will host both the opening game and the final but other high-profile games are set to be played at Wembley, Manchester United's Old Trafford and Leeds United's Elland Road.
They are likely to be joined by Leicester City's King Power Stadium with Sunderland's Stadium of Light and Newcastle's St James' Park also vying for inclusion. Aston Villa's Villa Park, Coventry City's Ricoh Arena, Brighton & Hove Albion's Amex Stadium, Southampton's St Mary's Stadium, Bristol City's Ashton Gate and MK Dons' Stadium MK also tipped to play a role in the tournament.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures