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RWC - 2015

Across the street from Twickenham Stadium sits the Webb Ellis House, and inside are the offices of England Rugby 2015, the operational arm for next year's Rugby World Cup. The planning started with the implementation of a sophisticated matrix of events and responsibilities set along side a chronological calendar of actions.

One of the organization’s initial tasks was the selection of stadiums to host the 48 matches. Thirteen were chosen (12 in England, one in Wales), with the governing criteria whether the venues had staged big matches before. In the mix are two national rugby stadiums (Twickenham and Millennium, Cardiff), the multi-purpose Olympic Stadium, London, and ten professional association football stadiums, some that have presented rugby before. These were vetted for approval by the IRB.

The widespread selection outside of London fulfilled an objective to spread the event throughout England and Wales.

The estimated global television audience is expected to clear four billion cumulative for the tournament. ITV is the main broadcaster in the UK. The IRB sold television rights to foreign entities, so that there will be international coverage (some live, some delayed) throughout the world.

IMG, the global leader in sports, fashion, and media, is handling ticket sales (all through the www.rugbyworldcup.com website). Preliminary ticket sales ended September 29, with another round scheduled in November. For oversubscribed games, a random ballot system will pick the winners, and these will be announced in October.

The English RFU is the host union, and is also the landlord of Twickenham Stadium. Its CEO, Ian Ritchie, sits on the Board of England Rugby 2015. Of note, is that 75% of the 8,000 volunteers ("The Pack") will come from English and Welsh rugby clubs, the former all members of the RFU.

On the RWC website, fans can join "The Front Row" to receive email updates of upcoming events and other information related to the World Cup. The dates, again, are September 18 (when England meet Fiji) to October 31, for the final game, also at Twickenham.

Debbie Jevans, the organization's CEO, summed up her goals for the event. She said, "We want to deliver a celebration of rugby and its unique values. We want to find new fans for the sport. For existing fans, we'll have fan zones at all the venues. This World Cup must be relevant and impactful to create a keen moment in time. England Rugby 2015 is poised to achieve all these objectives."