England Rugby 2015, the Organising Committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC 2015), has announced the approved list of 41 Team Bases that will host the 20 participating teams during the Tournament, taking place in England and in Cardiff between September 18 and October 31 2015.
The Lensbury Club and St Mary’s University, Twickenham will be a Team Base for South Africa and New Zealand at Rugby World Cup 2015. The Team Base will consist of The Lensbury Club and St Mary’s University who will host teams during the knock stages of the Tournament.
A Rugby World Cup 2015 Team Base will consist of an outdoor pitch, indoor training facility, a swimming pool, gym and hotel and will be utilised by the competing teams in the lead up to and during the six week event. The facilities must meet international team training standards and be located on one site or within close proximity of one another. Match venue locations have also been taken into account as part of the selection programme.
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. The Lensbury and St Mary’s have worked closely with England Rugby 2015 over the past 12 months to facilitate detailed site visits and liaison with the teams prior to confirmation of its status as an official Team Base for Rugby World Cup 2015. Both The Lensbury and St Mary’s are just a few minutes from Twickenham Stadium, which means that New Zealand and South Africa will be at the heart of the world’s third largest sporting event and celebration of rugby next year.
A mix of rugby and football clubs, schools, colleges, universities and dedicated training facilities will be utilised by the 20 teams, taking the reach of the Tournament even further.
The Lensbury team had a vision some three years ago to be a part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 and embarked on a large capital investment to build the facilities to host the top rugby teams of the world. General Manager, Ivor Turner said, “We are so pleased with our partners St Mary’s and to be able to work together again as we did in the Olympics, where we hosted the Irish team. The Lensbury has historical links with rugby, hosting top international teams for over 36 years and we are proud that we can bring elite teams to Teddington and Twickenham so the local community can benefit from this major event.
“We have been the base for the RFU Sevens for many years and are proud to be associated with them. This is a dream come true for the team at The Lensbury to have the honour of hosting the teams, showcase our great elite sports facilities and work once again with our neighbours, St Mary’s University.”
St Mary’s Director for Sport Andrew Reid-Smith said, “St Mary’s University, working with our partners the Lensbury, are excited to be the Team Base for New Zealand and South Africa during the Rugby World Cup 2015 and to have been selected to host teams during the knock out phase.
“International rugby squads have previously used our world-class sports facilities and we were a Pre-Games Training Camp for London 2012. St Mary’s has the best endurance running programme in the country and our experience of training camps and understanding of elite athletes will help us provide the environment that each team will require.
“With our campus located in Twickenham, it is particularly special to be involved in the Rugby World Cup 2015 and to be supporting New Zealand and South Africa is fantastic. I’m sure this will make our students, staff and local community feel even more involved in what will be an incredible tournament of rugby.”
New Zealand manager Darren Shand said, “The All Blacks are looking forward to coming to England and Wales next year for Rugby World Cup 2015. We will be based in London, Cardiff and County Durham at the Tournament and, while preparing for our Test matches will be key, we are also looking forward to experiencing the local culture in each of the areas.”
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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