Rugby fans across the country are being offered the chance to be part of all the Rugby World Cup 2015 excitement in the build up to the greatest rugby show on earth.
With just under six months to go, Tournament organiser England Rugby 2015 has today announced the 100 day Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour route and the Official Rugby World Cup 2015 Fanzone locations.
Rugby fans can start making plans for the six-week Tournament with the news that the RWC 2015 Official Fanzone in Cardiff will be at Cardiff Arms Park.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “The Trophy Tour’s time in Wales gives communities across the country an opportunity to see this iconic trophy before the selected matches come here later this year and will begin to raise awareness and create excitement about this phenomenal event taking place on our door step. This excitement and atmosphere will continue when the event takes place in six months’ time as the fanzones will provide a real taste of the event and celebration right here in Cardiff.”
All RWC 2015 Fanzones will be free to enter. England Rugby 2015, The City of Cardiff Council and Cardiff Blues are working to conclude planning, licensing and operational arrangements and full details will be announced when final details are confirmed.
Cardiff will host eight games, including two of Wales’ pool matches and two quarter-finals, when the Tournament comes to the principality for the fourth time, following 1991, 1999 and 2007 – with Wales playing a part in the world's greatest rugby occasion more times than any other country in the world.
The Fanzone will be open for 11 days (the opening match, all Millennium Stadium matchdays, Wales fixtures at Twickenham Stadium and the Cardiff QFs) with a capacity of 5,000+.
Councillor Peter Bradbury, Cabinet Member for Community Development, Co-operatives and Social Enterprise said:“This will be the fourth time that Cardiff will host the Rugby World Cup and we are excited to welcome this prestigious event back to the Welsh Capital.
“With eight games scheduled to be staged at the Millennium Stadium, visitors, rugby fans and audiences across the globe will have all eyes on the city, showcasing what an outstanding major sporting destination Cardiff has become.
“The Fanzones will provide a fantastic opportunity for those without tickets to the games, to still experience the live action for free, whilst enjoying the unique celebratory atmosphere that Cardiff never fails to deliver.”
In addition,the Webb Ellis Cup is set to spend a total of 10 days in Wales from June 26 – July 6, following the launch of the UK and Ireland Tour on June 10 which marks 100 days to go to the opening match.
Rugby’s top prize will arrive in North Wales for a celebration of rugby the length and breadth of the country. The Tour will involve every element of the game in Wales, from clubs, schools and universities to festivals, tournaments and stand-alone Trophy Tour events.
Ten days in Wales will also include visits to Host City Cardiff and the Millennium Stadium before the Trophy returns to England to countdown the final 75 days until Rugby World Cup 2015.
Organised in conjunction with the WRU, Welsh Government and Cardiff Council, the Wales leg of the tour also include visits to iconic national landmarks and visitor attractions.
WRU General Manager of RGC and former international Rupert Moon is heading up the North Wales leg of the Trophy Tour, which will commence after the journey through Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
He is confident there will be plenty of opportunities for fans of all ages to see the Webb Ellis Cup in the run up to this year’s biggest sporting event:
“Rugby prizes don’t come more prestigious than the Webb Ellis Cup and we know that rugby fans all over Wales will want to get involved in the various activities and festivals when the Trophy Tour is in town.
“At the WRU, we are working with our clubs, schools and stakeholders to compile an exciting schedule of rugby from grassroots to elite when the Trophy travels through Wales across the 10 days from June 26.
“We’re also continuing to work closely with Welsh Government and Cardiff Council to ensure the very best images of Wales to be beamed across the globe ahead of and during the Tournament.
“There are so many beautiful landscapes and tourism projects here in Wales as well as passionate rugby communities. As a collective, and with England Rugby 2015, we must capitalise on these great assets.
“This is a huge year for Welsh rugby and with the added excitement of the Millennium Stadium hosting eight matches the Trophy Tour is bound to capture the imagination of the people of Wales as the countdown continues.”
Full details on the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour will be updated at rugbyworldcup.com/trophy-tour in the coming months.
Speaking at the national launch of the Trophy Tour and Official Fanzones, Debbie Jevans, Chief Executive Officer of England Rugby 2015, said:“With less than six months to go we are delighted to announce the locations of the Official Fanzones, alongside details of the 100 day Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour across the UK and Ireland. The countdown to Rugby World Cup 2015 is on and fans can now really begin to plan their Tournament experience, be it through watching the matches, through Fanzones, the Festival of Rugby and the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.”