Today sees the doors formally open on the new headquarters for England Rugby 2015 (ER 2015), with a number of top line names already appointed to help make sure that Rugby World Cup 2015 is the best tournament ever.
With the start of the year comes the start of planning in earnest for England’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup. ER 2015CEO Paul Vaughan and Mike Miller, Managing Director of Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) are welcoming the media to HQ on Rugby Road, opposite Twickenham Stadium, where the excitement will reach its peak in 2015.
They are joined by ER 2015 ambassadors Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood and Maggie Alphonsi.
This is an exciting time for Rugby Union, with England Rugby 2015, Rugby World Cup Limited and the International Rugby Board sharing a vision of a truly world class event to delight existing fans from across the globe, attract new supporters and leave a lasting legacy for the sport at home and abroad.
Says Paul Vaughan, “I have absolutely no doubt that we can deliver the best Rugby World Cup yet. Looking at likely ticket sales I am sure that the nine million rugby fans in England will be keen to be there, together with a wider audience from across Europe and the travelling supporters from around the world we saw at RWC 2011 in New Zealand. It will be a fantastic shop window for our sport which will help the legacy and a real boost for the UK economy.”
Mike Miller said, “Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand was an exceptional event that set the bar for others to follow, capturing the imagination of the global sporting family and uniting a nation behind a tournament that was underpinned by a strong partnership between the IRB, the Organising Body, the New Zealand Rugby Union, Government and Regional authorities.”
“Planning and preparation for Rugby World Cup 2015 is well underway. We have developed a strong partnership with ER 2015 based on a shared vision of delivering a tournament that will provide the profile, participation and financial foundations for Rugby to continue its phenomenal growth around the world. I am sure that Rugby World Cup 2015 will be an outstanding tournament that the country and the global Rugby family will be proud of.”
And Vaughan has wasted no time in gathering a top class team. His Board includes: the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) new CEO Ian Ritchie, RFU Chief Financial Officer, Stephen Brown, Professional Game Board Chairman, Ian Metcalfe, Injured Players Foundation Chairman and former RFU President, John Owen and from the RFU Council the Championship’s Geoff Irvine.
They were recently joined by Ian Watmore and Andrew Coslett. The former is Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office and the Government’s Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the Government’s Efficiency and Reform agenda.
Previously Watmore served as the Football Association’s CEO, steering them through financial problems after the bankruptcy of Setanta. Andrew Cosslett was until recently CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group as well as being a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council, a member of the President’s Committee of the CBI and a Board member of the International Tourism Partnership.
Cosslett has stepped in to be Chairman of the ER 2015 Board whilst the search for an Independent Chairman is undertaken.
A team of senior professional staff with significant experience and expertise is already being put in place with appointments already made including: Chief Operating Officer, Ross Young; General Manager Rugby & Venue Operations, Simon Jelowitz; General Manager City & Regional Operations, Mick Hogan; General Manager Corporate Services, Holly Hammill; and General Manager Marketing & Communications, Jon Duckworth.
2012 will certainly see RWCL and ER 2015 really motoring down the road to the tournament, including:
• A February debrief of RWC 2011 with RWCL, RNZ 2011, ER 2015 AND Japan 2019 to identify key hosting and operational learnings and transfer best practice knowledge
• RWC 2015 Tournament dates determined in early March 2012
• The confirmation of chosen RWC 2015 venues
• The development of the Tournament ticketing strategy
• The Pool Draw at end of the year
• The first RWC 2015 qualifying matches
Looking ahead to 2012 and on his new appointments, Vaughan added, “I believe that we have recruited some of the best people around in order to deliver the event and people are key in ensuring this is the best Rugby World Cup. The next 12 months will be very exciting and will set the framework through to the event itself in 2015. Getting it right now is important and I’m confident that we will.”