The Rugby Football Union has turned down a proposal from their Welsh counterparts to stage the 2015 World Cup pool match between England and Wales in Cardiff.
The draw for the 2015 tournament was made on Monday, with England, Wales and Australia all included in the ‘Pool of Death’. What England should have in their favour is the fact that as hosts of the tournament, they will enjoy home ground advantage.
This has been obvious to everybody except the Welsh, who have asked the RFU if the game may be staged in Cardiff instead of London. Predictably, the RFU has turned them down.
The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff may host up to eight games at this tournament, but a Wales vs England clash won’t be one of them.
‘We have a very nice home of our own and I would hope very much we would contemplate playing the match here,’ said RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie, who clearly found the whole request quite bizarre.
‘With our modest little stadium here at Twickenham, with the further investment we might be able to make it into a decent spot to play rugby. We equally believe we are very good hosts here and that we could hold a decent game here and would very much want to do that. Shock, horror and astonishment that I would suggest that!
‘We will not get a better opportunity to inspire people to play rugby, be volunteers and participate in rugby. We are putting the building blocks in place to make sure we can take the most advantage of having the World Cup.’
Ritchie is currently overseeing a £76 million upgrade of Twickenham, which is currently the biggest rugby-dedicated venue on the planet with a 82 000 capacity.