altMay 5 - England has decided to proceed with a bid to stage the 2015 Rugby World Cup with Twickenham, Wembley, Old Trafford and the Millennium Stadium among the proposed venues, they announced today.


There had been fears that the £80 million guaranteed by the International Rugby Board (IRB) to host the event would scupper the bid.


Lawrence Dallaglio and Will Greenwood, members of the England team that lifted the trophy in Sydney in 2003, have joined the Rugby Football Union (RFU) bid team and, along with Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport Andy Burnham, will be part of a five-strong delegation presenting the Government-backed proposal to the IRB Council in Dublin on May 13.


Burnham said: "England 2015 would be a superb addition to a great decade of sport in Britain.
"The RFU has pulled together an outstanding bid that will take the game to new audiences.
"It has the Government's full support and we will now work with them to make the case for it."
"The bid includes games at the biggest and best stadia in England and Wales."
England will face competition from Italy, Japan and South Africa.
Dallaglio said: "I was fortunate to play in three and the drama created by the tournament can only be matched by the passion of people for sport in England.
"Putting the two together at world class venues like Twickenham, Wembley, Old Trafford and the Millennium Stadium will produce the ultimate rugby event."

Greenwood believes people's memories of England's victory in Australia will help enthusiasm for an event in this country.


He said: "The whole nation was with us that night and when we got back you could see the impact that the World Cup had right across the country.


"New people were playing rugby in new places and, as with the 2012 Olympics, I am confident there will be a lasting legacy from hosting the 2015 World Cup."


England hosted the World Cup in 1991 along with Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France.


RFU chief executive Francis Baron said: "We believe it is time that we brought the Ttournament back to England and are confident we would be able to provide the best platform to profile the sport on the world stage and enable us to make a lasting commitment to grassroots rugby."