The Rugby World Cup Limited Board today met Rugby World Cup 2015 Tournament Organisers England Rugby 2015 to discuss tournament planning as part of regularly held Board meetings.
With two and a half years to go until the showcase event kicks off, a key agenda item was progress towards the finalisation of the RWC 2015 daily match schedule and final selection of RWC 2015 match venues.
The Board determined that excellent progress has been made on developing the match schedule and selecting venues which would set a base for an outstanding tournament for players and spectators and a festival that will engage and excite fans the length and breadth of the country and around the world.
All stakeholders are focused on delivering a balanced match schedule that enables every team to perform to the highest level on Rugby’s biggest stage in a blend of iconic Rugby and football stadia and the best possible sporting facilities.
Courtesy of the iRB, Total Rugby TV returns for its first show of 2013. Here’s a taster…
On this week’s show…
MEMORIES OF 1983 – To mark the 30th anniversary since Scotland last beat England at Twickenham, we brought together two of the players from that match in 1983. John Rutherford and Steve Smith recall their memories of that rare Scottish victory on English soil.
SIX NATIONS ANALYSIS – As well as highlights from the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations, former Scotland coach Andy Robinson will be analysing the action.
SEVENS ACTION – We also have highlights from the latest rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Wellington and the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Houston.
England lifted the second IRB Women’s Sevens World Series title in Houston following a dominant display in the final over hosts USA.
England ran out 29-12 winners after an excellent weekend, where they had to beat the champions from Dubai, New Zealand, twice on the way to lifting the title. Jo Watmore scored a hat-trick in the final, in a display of real power and pace, and England, led strongly by captain Alice Richardson and with Heather Fisher in sublime form, fully deserved their title.
USA were in many ways surprise finalists, having failed to reach the quarter-final stages in the first round of the series in Dubai, but inspired by their home fans and their skipper Vanesha McGee and talismanic wide player Nathalie Marchino, they were outstanding over the two days.
Fisher, who was named player of the tournament, expressed her delight afterwards. “That final could have involved any one of the top eight sides because there is very little between everyone. This is a fantastic result for us and a platform us to build on for the next few months heading into the World Cup. It means the world to us.
“It was really tough to have to play New Zealand and Netherlands twice but we treated every game like it was the final and that’s the attitude we took into each one. We rose to it and we were calm and composed. You have to choose your attitude and we trust each other at all times to do the job. I am gobsmacked to get an award at the end and I know that it takes 12 players to win a competition like this. We are chuffed.”
The IRB have finally embraced the future with a multi channel radio show. To kick-start a Rugby World Cup Sevens year, and in the lead-up to round 4 of the HSBC Sevens World Series in New Zealand, this week’s Total Rugby radio show concentrates on the Sevens game.
England Women’s Sevens coach Barry Maddocks has signalled his intentions by recalling a host of star names to the squad for the second round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in Houston, USA, on 1-2 February. Maddocks took a young squad to the inaugural round in Dubai last month with the likes of Emily Scarratt, Kat Merchant, Alex Matthews, Heather Fisher, Jo Watmore and Michaela Staniford remaining at home for England’s three-Test series with world champions New Zealand.
That decision led to an historic 3-0 series whitewash by England, but this time the experienced names will be on Sevens duty in Houston and not facing Scotland in the opening round of the RBS Women’s Six Nations the same weekend. England finished seventh in Dubai and will face a tricky pool in Houston with round one winners New Zealand, the fast-developing Netherlands and Series newcomers Trinidad & Tobago awaiting them at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
Only Sarah Guest and Ruth Laybourn keep their places from Dubai with Marlie Packer the only player in the squad not to have played for England Sevens before. Alice Richardson will captain the squad, who are all part of England’s training squad for RWC Sevens 2013 in Moscow from 28-30 June.
“I am really excited to include Katy (McLean), Alex and Marlie in this squad. The three of them are already really good rugby players but they have still got a lot to learn about Sevens rugby,” said Maddocks. “This is a great opportunity for them and I am sure they will do themselves proud. I am certainly really excited to see how they do in Houston.
“This is a really tough pool undoubtedly but for us this tournament is about measuring where we are in relation to our opponents as we continue to prepare and build for the RWC Sevens.