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Leicester begins countdown to the Rugby World Cup

The city of Leicester today begins the two-year-countdown to the Rugby World Cup.

Leicester City Stadium is one of 13 venues that will host matches during the competition alongside the Olympic Stadium in London and Villa Park in Birmingham.

As part of the build-up to this international sporting event the Rugby Football Union have launched the 'Posts in the Park' initiative. Rugby goalposts have been installed in parks up-and-down the country including Leicester's Victoria Park.

Two budding rugby stars go head-to-head in Leicester's Victoria Park Credit: Matt Short Photography
Councillor Piara Singh Clair at the launch of Leicester's Posts in the Park yesterday Credit: Matt Short Photography

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Leicester to host Rugby World Cup 2015

Leicester is to host three matches in the Rugby World Cup 2015.

Games will be played at Leicester City Football Club’s home ground, which will be known as the Leicester City Stadium for the duration of the Tournament, in October 2015.

Leicester is the only city in the East Midlands selected to host matches in the six-week tournament, which will see the top 20 teams in the world competing for the prestigious Webb Ellis Cup.

Argentina v Tonga (Sunday October 4), Americas 1 v Europe 2 (Tuesday October 6) and Argentina v Africa 1 (Sunday October 11) will all take place at the Leicester City Stadium.

Aston Villa CEO: 'This is an iconic stadium'

Paul Faulkner, Aston Villa Chief Executive Officer, said:

We’re delighted to be associated with this prestigious tournament and we look forward to hosting marquee matches involving two past winners in Australia and South Africa at Villa Park.

This is an iconic stadium which has hosted more FA Cup semi-finals than any other venue, along with major concerts and the Community Shield this season between Manchester City and Chelsea.

We look forward to putting on a show which will highlight the unique character of our wonderful stadium and also the distinctive character at the heart of the city of Birmingham.

Villa Park will host two Rugby World Cup matches

Aston Villa:

The Rugby World Cup 2015 venues are spread across 10 cities across England, from Birmingham to Milton Keynes, Exeter to Newcastle to enable England Rugby 2015 to showcase the game to a large audience across the length and breadth of the country, in addition to the Welsh capital.

Villa Park will host two matches, South Africa vs Samoa on Saturday, September 26 and Australia versus play-off winners on Sunday, September 27.

Villa Park confims it is a venue for Rugby World Cup

Aston Villa statement:

The Club is delighted to confirm that Villa Park has been announced as one of the match venues for the Rugby World Cup 2015 to be hosted in England.

Tournament organisers England Rugby 2015 (ER 2015) and tournament owners Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) today announced the full list of venues and published the match schedule for RWC 2015.

Villa Park is one of 13 match venues, alongside other iconic stadia such as Twickenham, Wembley, Millennium Stadium and Olympic Park.

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MP questions decision not to shortlist Leicester Tigers Rugby Ground

Leicester MP John Ashford says he will write to the Sports Minister to ask why Leicester Tigers Rugby ground has not been shortlisted as a potential match venue for the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

He said:

"It feels like Leicester has been snubbed. The Tigers ground is one of the best and most modern rugby grounds in the country."

– John Ashford MP

Four stadiums across the Midlands were shortlisted: Villa Park (Birmingham), Ricoh Arena (Coventry), Pride Park (Derby) and the King Power Stadium (Leicester).

Four Midlands stadiums to be considered to host 2015 Rugby World Cup matches

Pride Park is just one of four Midlands stadiums which is being considered. Credit: PA

Four stadiums from across the Midlands have been announced as potential match venues up for consideration to host matches during the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Seventeen venues have been put forward by the organising body, comprising of stadiums from fifteen different cities across England and Wales.

Villa Park (Birmingham), Coventry Stadium (Coventry), Pride Park (Derby) and Leicester City Stadium (Leicester) are the four Midlands venues that have been nominated for consideration.

2.9 million tickets will be available for the Rugby World Cup in 2015. 400,000 international fans are expected to visit England during the tournament from over 100 countries.

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