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England and Japan Win Rugby World Cups

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The International Rugby Board Council has awarded Rugby World Cup 2015 to England and the Rugby World Cup 2019 to Japan. The decision was approved by a vote of 16 to 10.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset, who confirmed the winners at a ceremony held at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday, said, “We believe that the succession of England and Japan as host nations for RWC will create new opportunities and help maximise commercial revenues for re-investment in the game. It is an exciting combination for Rugby World Cup and one which we think will enable the sport to reach developing rugby markets and therefore contribute to the continued growth of the Game and its values worldwide.”

“We are confident that England will deliver a spectacular tournament in 2015 and that Japan, as the first Rugby World Cup host nation in Asia, will mark the beginning of a very exciting chapter in the history of this great tournament,” added Lapasset.

The announcement of the RWC 2015 and RWC 2019 Host Unions is the culmination of an extensive tender process that kicked off in August 2008. It is also the first time that two tournaments have been awarded at the same time.

As one of the world’s largest sporting events, the Rugby World Cup is the driving force behind the global development of Rugby worldwide. The tournament’s commercial success provides the IRB with the platform to invest up to £150 million between 2009-2012 across all 116 Member Unions in the form of annual Union grants and the Strategic Investment Programme that is designed to increase the competitiveness of the game.

“We are honoured and privileged to be given this opportunity. This is the first time that Rugby World Cup will be played outside the traditional Unions and this is a historical meaning. We accept the historical importance of this event to be held in Japan and we will work hard to make it a success,” said John Kirwan, Japan national coach. “We need to be a global game, I think there are two major decisions that need to be made this year to put this game on the global map from a sporting point of view. One has been made today with the game going to Asia, first time out of the top eight [nations], the top 10, to Japan and then the next decision which I think is important is the Olympics. I think the decision today is going to help the Olympic Committee realise that we are doing our best to open up this game.”

Lawrence Dallaglio, a 2003 Rugby World Cup winner, said, “The world's best players will now have a chance to play in some of the world's best stadia and supporters can look forward to a feast of rugby. It's almost enough to bring me out of retirement!”

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