2015 Rugby World Cup: Olympic Stadium confirmed as host venue as organisers reveal schedule
Last Updated: 02/05/13 10:02pm
London's Olympic Stadium will host five matches at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, organisers have revealed.
France, New Zealand and South Africa are all scheduled to play group games at the Stratford venue, which will also host the Pool D game between Ireland and Italy and the Bronze final to decide the tournament's third-placed team.
The Olympic Stadium was confirmed on a final list of 13 stadiums, only four of which are recognised as primarily rugby venues.
The Millennium Stadium will host eight games, including two of Wales' Pool A matches, but the big Wales-England contest will be at Twickenham on September 26 and neither of the quarter-finals scheduled for Cardiff can feature the Welsh.
England open the tournament against qualifiers from Oceania on September 18 and play three pool matches at headquarters and the other at Manchester City's stadium which, as expected, replaces Old Trafford on the list following Manchester United's decision to withdraw their home ground.
Twickenham will also host two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the October 31 final, while Southampton, Derby, Coventry, Bristol and Sunderland are the cities to miss out from a provisional long list of hosts.
England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans said: "The world can now start planning for Rugby World Cup 2015.
"We've brought the tournament to life, announcing the match venues and the full match schedule. In less than two-and-a-half-years' time, we will be welcoming the world to England and to a celebration of rugby, played in a range of atmospheric stadiums right across the country.
"Rugby has so much to offer - and over the next two and a half years, we will be working hard with Rugby World Cup Ltd to deliver a tournament which celebrates the unique values of rugby."
RWCL chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Rugby World Cup 2015 is about opportunity. It is the opportunity to engage new fans the length and breadth of the country and to grow rugby around the world."
Full list of venues: Twickenham Stadium (London), Wembley Stadium (London), Olympic Stadium (London), Millennium Stadium (Cardiff), Manchester City Stadium (Manchester), St James' Park (Newcastle), Elland Road (Leeds), Leicester City Stadium (Leicester), Villa Park (Birmingham), Kingsholm Stadium (Gloucester), stadium:mk (Milton Keynes), Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton) and Sandy Park (Exeter).