Southampton's St. Mary's Stadium on long-list of Rugby World Cup 2015 venues

Jonathan Sexton for Ireland against France

An aerial shot of Southampton FC's St. Mary's Stadium on a matchday

Brighton's Amex Community Stadium

Olympic Stadium

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Digital Editor

ST. MARY'S has today been confirmed as once of the 17 venues in line to host matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

England Rugby 2015, which is organising the tournament, released the list today.

Once the draw for the pool stages has been made, the 17 stadiums will be whittled down to 12, which will host 48 matches between them for the tournament in three years time.

The final list of venues will be known by spring next year.

St. Mary's has long been part of the plans for the World Cup, having first been put forward by former chairman Rupert Lowe when England was bidding to host the competition.

In the last few weeks, Brighton's Amex Stadium has also put itself forward, and is the most likely threat to St. Mary's being included.

As well as choosing the stadiums, ER 2015 will also be choosing the training bases for visiting teams and the locations for fanzones across the country, to play host to some of the 400,000 foreign fans that are expected to come to England for the tournament.

The long list of venues for the Rugby World Cup in 2015:

1. Villa Park, Birmingham
2. Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton
3. Ashton Gate, Bristol
4. Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
5. Coventry Stadium, Coventry
6. Pride Park,  Derby
7. Kingsholm, Gloucester
8. Elland Road, Leeds
9. Leicester City Stadium, Leicester
10. Olympic Stadium, London
11. Twickenham Stadium, London 
12. Wembley Stadium, London
13. Old Trafford, Manchester
14. Stadiummk, Milton Keynes
15. St James’ Park, Newcastle
16. St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
17. Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Andy Cosslett, England Rugby 2015 Chairman, commented:“The selection of the long list of potential venues represents an exciting milestone for Rugby World Cup 2015, when fans up and down the country can begin to get excited about the prospect of one of sport’s greatest events coming to their local city or town.

“Our vision for Rugby World Cup 2015 is to ensure that we take this prestigious tournament to as many parts of the country as possible and we believe that the geographical spread of venues selected will enable us to maximise the reach of the tournament. In addition, we will be selecting further venues for training and team base camps that will ensure that the rugby community is at the very heart of Rugby World Cup 2015.

“We will now continue to work extremely closely with the venues, cities and stakeholders, including the Premier League and Football League, to plan the scheduling of matches and city hosting programmes to select a final list of up to 12 venues, which will be agreed by the early part of next year.

“We are confident that with the venues selected we will be able to reach our target of having up to 2.9 million tickets available, opening up the tournament to more people than ever before and in turn delivering the biggest and best Rugby World Cup that there has ever been.

“The process of choosing the long list of venues was very competitive and we would like to thank the venues and cities who we have met for their full co-operation, including the venues not selected, all of whom provided us with their fulsome assistance and information required to make our selection.”

Bernard Lapasset, Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman, said:“Rugby World Cup Limited is delighted with the range of locations and iconic stadia, steeped in sporting folklore, that have been selected as potential Rugby World Cup 2015 match venues. We are very fortunate that England possesses some of the finest sporting venues in the world.

“We have developed a strong working partnership with ER 2015 and planning and preparation continues to advance ahead of schedule. We are sure that this selection of sporting venues will capture the imagination of rugby and sport fans not just in England but all over the world. It is a testament to the strength of the Rugby World Cup brand that there has been such strong interest from a wide range of English cities and venues to host and be a part of the world’s third largest sporting event.

"Indeed, with a little under three years to go until the world's best players and their fans gather in England, we are confident that the eighth chapter in the remarkable Rugby World Cup story will be a wonderful success, and an event that England and the global Rugby family will be proud of."

Comments (18)

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10:36am Mon 8 Oct 12

franiow says...

Be good for the City to have a big event, but do we really want a rugby match played on the grass at SMS during the football season. The groundsman must be lying down in a dark room as we speak.
Be good for the City to have a big event, but do we really want a rugby match played on the grass at SMS during the football season. The groundsman must be lying down in a dark room as we speak. franiow
  • Score: 0

10:56am Mon 8 Oct 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

If it brings in Revenue for St. Marys I'll support it, not sure about the damage to the pitch though, but I trust our groundstaff to manage it well as they have for the past few years.
If it brings in Revenue for St. Marys I'll support it, not sure about the damage to the pitch though, but I trust our groundstaff to manage it well as they have for the past few years. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

11:05am Mon 8 Oct 12

St Retford says...

Why can't the egg chasers build their own grounds that can hold more than seven people? They're constantly banging on about how amazing it is and how it attracts a superior class of supporter compared to those awful soccer thugs so surely the demand is there?
Why can't the egg chasers build their own grounds that can hold more than seven people? They're constantly banging on about how amazing it is and how it attracts a superior class of supporter compared to those awful soccer thugs so surely the demand is there? St Retford
  • Score: 0

11:06am Mon 8 Oct 12

once a saint says...

Not a rugby fan but it would be good for the city. Let's hope the Saints Chairman would allow soft drinks to be sold!
Not a rugby fan but it would be good for the city. Let's hope the Saints Chairman would allow soft drinks to be sold! once a saint
  • Score: 0

11:09am Mon 8 Oct 12

likewatchingbrazil says...

think they should give it to poopey as there ground is knackered anyway.
think they should give it to poopey as there ground is knackered anyway. likewatchingbrazil
  • Score: 0

11:17am Mon 8 Oct 12

Hobson82 says...

If we want to host an International event then the club needs to work on it's customer service otherwise they have no chance.
If we want to host an International event then the club needs to work on it's customer service otherwise they have no chance. Hobson82
  • Score: 0

11:31am Mon 8 Oct 12

mack chinnon says...

Two weeks now of "ex Saint in talks to take over at east midlands Little Chef franchise" stories.
Two weeks now of "ex Saint in talks to take over at east midlands Little Chef franchise" stories. mack chinnon
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Phil76 says...

This is fantastic news for the Saints, the City and the South!

About the potential pitch damage - I guess all the other football grounds on the shortlist will have the same issues as SMS and think it is manageable (and Reading deal with this all the time) so this should be ok?
This is fantastic news for the Saints, the City and the South! About the potential pitch damage - I guess all the other football grounds on the shortlist will have the same issues as SMS and think it is manageable (and Reading deal with this all the time) so this should be ok? Phil76
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Mon 8 Oct 12

St Retford says...

I'm not sure it's such fantastic news. I think the reason they're looking to stage so many matches in football stadia (aside from the fact they're better) is because they want to showcase the game to football fans and try and nick their custom. I don't know if the football clubs should be quite so willing to jump on board with it.
I'm not sure it's such fantastic news. I think the reason they're looking to stage so many matches in football stadia (aside from the fact they're better) is because they want to showcase the game to football fans and try and nick their custom. I don't know if the football clubs should be quite so willing to jump on board with it. St Retford
  • Score: 0

2:13pm Mon 8 Oct 12

G0Rf says...

Reading share their ground with London Irish rugby club so damage wont be a problem!
Reading share their ground with London Irish rugby club so damage wont be a problem! G0Rf
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Mon 8 Oct 12

CB FRY LIVES says...

Didn't agree with the proposal when it was first mooted but if it happens and NC can earn ten bob out of it then so be it.When STOKE CITY visit ST MARYS it will be like watching a rugby match anywayl.The old Derby County ground stadium was called THE BASEBALL GROUND because they played baseball there once.if NC can sell the idea for lots of spondoolicks to the powers that be in the world of rugby why not change the name of our illustrious ground to THE RUGBY GROUND.If NC can make a few farthings out of it for the clubs coffers than more power to his elbow.
Didn't agree with the proposal when it was first mooted but if it happens and NC can earn ten bob out of it then so be it.When STOKE CITY visit ST MARYS it will be like watching a rugby match anywayl.The old Derby County ground stadium was called THE BASEBALL GROUND because they played baseball there once.if NC can sell the idea for lots of spondoolicks to the powers that be in the world of rugby why not change the name of our illustrious ground to THE RUGBY GROUND.If NC can make a few farthings out of it for the clubs coffers than more power to his elbow. CB FRY LIVES
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Mon 8 Oct 12

once a saint says...

CB FRY LIVES wrote:
Didn't agree with the proposal when it was first mooted but if it happens and NC can earn ten bob out of it then so be it.When STOKE CITY visit ST MARYS it will be like watching a rugby match anywayl.The old Derby County ground stadium was called THE BASEBALL GROUND because they played baseball there once.if NC can sell the idea for lots of spondoolicks to the powers that be in the world of rugby why not change the name of our illustrious ground to THE RUGBY GROUND.If NC can make a few farthings out of it for the clubs coffers than more power to his elbow.
Might need the extra cash to pay off our loan!
[quote][p][bold]CB FRY LIVES[/bold] wrote: Didn't agree with the proposal when it was first mooted but if it happens and NC can earn ten bob out of it then so be it.When STOKE CITY visit ST MARYS it will be like watching a rugby match anywayl.The old Derby County ground stadium was called THE BASEBALL GROUND because they played baseball there once.if NC can sell the idea for lots of spondoolicks to the powers that be in the world of rugby why not change the name of our illustrious ground to THE RUGBY GROUND.If NC can make a few farthings out of it for the clubs coffers than more power to his elbow.[/p][/quote]Might need the extra cash to pay off our loan! once a saint
  • Score: 0

3:51pm Mon 8 Oct 12

MGRA says...

pitch damage is a myth. rugby only ruins pitches on very very wet grass surfaces. During average-to-dry weather the only "damage" is scrum scraping and that takes 10 staff about an hour to fix.
pitch damage is a myth. rugby only ruins pitches on very very wet grass surfaces. During average-to-dry weather the only "damage" is scrum scraping and that takes 10 staff about an hour to fix. MGRA
  • Score: 0

5:09pm Mon 8 Oct 12

dly397 says...

once a saint wrote:
CB FRY LIVES wrote: Didn't agree with the proposal when it was first mooted but if it happens and NC can earn ten bob out of it then so be it.When STOKE CITY visit ST MARYS it will be like watching a rugby match anywayl.The old Derby County ground stadium was called THE BASEBALL GROUND because they played baseball there once.if NC can sell the idea for lots of spondoolicks to the powers that be in the world of rugby why not change the name of our illustrious ground to THE RUGBY GROUND.If NC can make a few farthings out of it for the clubs coffers than more power to his elbow.
Might need the extra cash to pay off our loan!
Have I missed something? I thought we were debt free.
[quote][p][bold]once a saint[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CB FRY LIVES[/bold] wrote: Didn't agree with the proposal when it was first mooted but if it happens and NC can earn ten bob out of it then so be it.When STOKE CITY visit ST MARYS it will be like watching a rugby match anywayl.The old Derby County ground stadium was called THE BASEBALL GROUND because they played baseball there once.if NC can sell the idea for lots of spondoolicks to the powers that be in the world of rugby why not change the name of our illustrious ground to THE RUGBY GROUND.If NC can make a few farthings out of it for the clubs coffers than more power to his elbow.[/p][/quote]Might need the extra cash to pay off our loan![/p][/quote]Have I missed something? I thought we were debt free. dly397
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Mon 8 Oct 12

holburyhalo says...

Great, we could learn a lot about defending, and we also would have 15 players in front of goal.
Great, we could learn a lot about defending, and we also would have 15 players in front of goal. holburyhalo
  • Score: 0

10:50pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Spudsaint says...

Will anyone turn up to watch cattle on the pitch? We'll probably only get Samoa v Tonga. I'd rather go shopping with the missus.
Will anyone turn up to watch cattle on the pitch? We'll probably only get Samoa v Tonga. I'd rather go shopping with the missus. Spudsaint
  • Score: 0

10:52pm Mon 8 Oct 12

Saints + Wigan fan II says...

Is it union or league?
Is it union or league? Saints + Wigan fan II
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Tue 9 Oct 12

Block 34 says...

World cup venues? Sort this out first!!
Email these guys & join the protest!!

Email to: matchdayhospitality@
saintsfc.co.uk

Now I know you guys at matchday hospitality are only really interested in big bucks from corporate sponsors, but just for a minute spare a thought for the ordinary fans - i.e. most of us - and the apalling state of catering facilities at St Mary's. If you could pass this email on to the appropriate persons (and Nicola Cortese) it would be apprecated.

It has long been the case that it is not possible to get food and/or drink at half time without either leaving your seat before the end of the first half, or returning after the start of the second. Even then, the quality of service is disgraceful. Often there is no hot food, it is impossible to buy a white coffee - you have to fight through the crowd & the queues for the toilets to find milk at the back of the hall, which is often not replenished when it has run out - and beer/lager served is frequently 50% froth. Staff are clueless, disinterested, slow, or all three.

This situation has endured for too long. Many fans no longer bother going to the bar due to the poor service, which results in lost takings for the catering section and disgruntled fans.
This needs to be addressed. You can't get away with charging £600+ for a season ticket and then treating people this way - next season they won't be back.

It's time to show you care about your supporters & give them a decent deal.
World cup venues? Sort this out first!! Email these guys & join the protest!! Email to: matchdayhospitality@ saintsfc.co.uk Now I know you guys at matchday hospitality are only really interested in big bucks from corporate sponsors, but just for a minute spare a thought for the ordinary fans - i.e. most of us - and the apalling state of catering facilities at St Mary's. If you could pass this email on to the appropriate persons (and Nicola Cortese) it would be apprecated. It has long been the case that it is not possible to get food and/or drink at half time without either leaving your seat before the end of the first half, or returning after the start of the second. Even then, the quality of service is disgraceful. Often there is no hot food, it is impossible to buy a white coffee - you have to fight through the crowd & the queues for the toilets to find milk at the back of the hall, which is often not replenished when it has run out - and beer/lager served is frequently 50% froth. Staff are clueless, disinterested, slow, or all three. This situation has endured for too long. Many fans no longer bother going to the bar due to the poor service, which results in lost takings for the catering section and disgruntled fans. This needs to be addressed. You can't get away with charging £600+ for a season ticket and then treating people this way - next season they won't be back. It's time to show you care about your supporters & give them a decent deal. Block 34
  • Score: 0

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