Plymouth confirmed as an official Team Base for Rugby World Cup 2015
Plymouth’s sports facilities will be front row next year as the city plays host to one of the competing nations in the Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC 2015).
England Rugby 2015 has announced that Plymouth is one of 41 official Team Bases that will host the 20 participating teams during the tournament, taking place in England and Cardiff between 18 September and 21 October 2015.
Plymouth will be a Team Base for Namibia, who will have access to facilities at the Brickfields, the Plymouth Life Centre and the University of St Mark and St John, including 3G pitches, sports halls, swimming pools, a training pitch, teaching room and gym. They will also have access to a 3G pitch near HMS Drake, owned by the Royal Navy Rugby Union.
The search for Team Bases was launched via an open tender process in May 2013 and over 90 bids from across the country and in Wales were received.
Plymouth City Council led a consortium bid in partnership with Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club, the University of St Mark and St John, the Royal Navy Rugby Union and Everyone Active (the company operating the Council’s leisure facilities). The partners have worked closely with England Rugby 2015 over the past 12 months to facilitate detailed site visits and liaison with the teams.
Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “This is brilliant news for Plymouth and reflects the growing international reputation of the sports facilities and expertise on offer here. More and more overseas teams are looking to Britain’s Ocean City as a great place not only to train, but also relax during their downtime.
“The Rugby World Cup is the third largest global sporting event and it is hugely exciting for Plymouth to be part of this. A lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes to showcase the city’s sporting credentials and our bid has been a real partnership effort. We look forward to giving the Namibian team a very warm welcome when they arrive next year.”
Professor Cara Aitchison, Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Mark and St John said: “We are delighted to host the Namibian team training for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and to know that our facilities and expertise will assist Namibia in their preparations for what will, undoubtedly, be one of the toughest matches of the competition when they take on the All Blacks.
“The Rugby World Cup is the third largest global sporting competition after the Olympic Games and Football World Cup and plays an important role in tourism.
“Sports tourists travelling to watch rugby games are some of the highest spending tourists and there will be significant opportunities for the local and regional visitor economy as a result of the Rugby World Cup and the hosting of a team in Plymouth.”
Graham Stirling CBE, Chairman of Plymouth Albion said: "We are delighted to be a partner in the provision of a Training Base for the Rugby World Cup 2015. With the tournament taking place on home soil, it is going to attract massive interest and media attention and we will be able to bring part of the excitement into the heart of our city. It will be a special time to showcase the game of rugby union and encourage more people to take part in and support the sport."
David Greenwood, Contract Manager for Everyone Active said: “We’re really pleased to have been a partner in the bid and to be providing training facilities for the Namibian team. Hosting a national side will help bring the Rugby World Cup to Plymouth and hopefully inspire more people to get involved in regular physical activity.”
England Rugby 2015 CEO, Debbie Jevans said: “As the organising committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 we are committed to ensuring that all participating teams have the optimum training environments available to them throughout the Tournament and in this regard we are delighted to announce our 41 official Team Bases for the event. Rugby, rightly, is at the heart of all our planning and we have worked closely with the teams to ensure that they have access to facilities and a Team Base that meet their individual needs.
“I would like to thank all those who have been part of the Team Base selection process and we are lucky to have some fantastic facilities right across the country. With a wide range of excellent facilities and locations secured the teams can be assured of having all their training needs met whilst allowing us to spread the reach of the Tournament even further throughout England and in Wales.”
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