Twickenham schedule delights Wallabies
May 3, 2013
Robbie Deans described Twickenham as "one of the great rugby destinations" © Getty Images
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is delighted Australia will play Rugby World Cup 2015 pool matches against England and Wales at Twickenham.
The Wallabies kick-off their quest for a record third title on September 23, 2015, against a yet-to-be-determined Oceania opponent, most likely Fiji, at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Four days later, they face a potential European qualifying team at Villa Park in Birmingham before playing hosts England at Twickenham on October 3. The Wallabies wrap up their pool matches against Wales at Twickenham on October 10.
"While we've got more immediate matters at hand to focus on, it's always good to get clarity with these things so that the plans can begin to be put in place," Deans said. "Twickenham is one of the great rugby destinations so the two games there to finish pool play will be something the playing group will no doubt look forward to. It's also good to see a more equitable distribution of the playing demands on teams, as previously it has been slightly weighted against some of the emerging nations."
England head coach Stuart Lancaster, meanwhile, hailed the diversity of the stadiums selected as venues. Thirteen venues were selected, with the Olympic Stadium playing a major role and northern soccer venues such as St James' Park and the Manchester City Stadium also included. Gloucester's Kingsholm and Exeter's Sandy Park join Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium as the only dedicated rugby venues named as host grounds.
"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," Lancaster said. "We always get terrific support at Twickenham Stadium, so we're looking forward to the three big games there as well as playing at the 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."
London's Olympic Stadium will be one of the key venues. The stadium, set to become the home of English Premier League football side West Ham United in 2016, will host five games including the bronze-medal play-off. Wembley will host two games, while Millennium Stadium and Twickenham will be used as the two primary venues - with eight games in Cardiff and 10 at England's national rugby stadium. Twickenham stages the final on October 31, 2015.
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