Darlington to host All Blacks in Rugby World Cup

Darlington to host All Blacks in Rugby World Cup

The Webb Ellis Cup at Darlington Mowden Park today as the club announced that Mowden Park Northern Echo Arena will be the team base for the All Blacks for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Picture: ANDY LAMB

DO THE HAKA: Talite Vaioleti instructs young players to do the Haka at the Darlington Arena. Picture: ANDY LAMB

FUTURE'S BRIGHT: World Cup winners and Mowden Sharks players Tamara Taylor, left and Katy McLean, right, with arena manager Danny Brown and Debbie Jevans, CEO England Rugby 2015 with the Webb Ellis Cup at Darlington Mowden Park. Picture: ANDY LAMB

SELFIE SMILES: Young rugby players photograph themselves with the Webb Ellis Cup at Mowden Park Northern Echo Arena. Picture: ANDY LAMB

FUTURE'S BRIGHT: Group photo with Webb Ellis Cup at Mowden Park Northern Echo Arena

First published in News
Last updated

DARLINGTON has today been confirmed as an official team base for the Rugby World Cup in 2015 – and will host the mighty All Blacks.

A total of 41 bases were selected for the world cup, which takes place between September 18 and October 31, and Darlington Mowden Park RFC is one of them.

The current Rugby World Cup champions, the New Zealand All Blacks, will be based at Mowden Park Northern Echo Arena for six days in October 2015. Rockliffe Hall will serve as the team's hotel.

Speaking at a press conference today, Debbie Jevans, CEO England Rugby 2015, congratulated the club's recent World Cup winners, Katy McLean and Tamara Taylor, who play for Mowden Sharks.

Danny Brown, arena manager for Mowden Park, described the announcement as "fantastic, not just for the club but Darlington and the surrounding area".

Darlington Council leader Bill Dixon added: "The future is bright for the Arena. It is a fantastic facility and it has a fantastic club in it."

Video: Darlington Mowden Park juniors perform the haka to celebrate news that the All Blacks will be based at their club for the Rugby World Cup 2015

Earlier today, Lee Rust, commercial director for Mowden Park, said: "We are truly delighted to have been chosen as a team base for Rugby World Cup 2015.

"It will give not just Mowden Park, but Darlington and the entire North-East, an opportunity to showcase as hosts and to become an integral part of one of the largest sporting events in the world.’’

The search for team bases was launched via an open tender process in May last year and more than 90 bids from across England and Wales were received.

Darlington Mowden Park has worked closely with England Rugby 2015 over the past 12 months to facilitate detailed site visits and liaise with the teams prior to confirmation of its status as an official team base for Rugby World Cup 2015. 

With the New Zealand based at the Darlington Arena this gives Darlington and the surrounding area the opportunity to be part of the world’s third largest sporting event and celebration of rugby next year.

Mr Rust added: "There was an exceptionally detailed and well organised tender process lasting over a year.

"To come out with an end result of having New Zealand, current World Champions and arguably the most famous team in rugby history, based with us here in Darlington during a Rugby World Cup Tournament is something quite special. A once in a lifetime opportunity perhaps.’’ The rugby club moved into the arena after Darlington FC vacated it in 2012 following a fans' takeover.

Since then, the site has developed into a thriving community hub which now boasts two gyms, a children's creche and several rugby training pitches among its facilities.

Mr Rust added: "Since the club moved to the arena some 18 months ago, we have been working very hard to unlock the sites potential and open it up to various communities in a number of ways.

"Credit must go to our arena and events team led by Danny Brown in securing this, and for what is a milestone step towards that end goal.

"The announcement is an ‘icing on the cake’ conclusion for our first full event calendar at the arena, which has already included international fixtures and the Premiership 7s.’

"Fundamentally, as a grass roots club, we must thank all of our members, supporters and volunteers for their continued support throughout the Club’s journey.

"We are the only grass roots club to have secured a major nation and the excitement and appreciation of having the greatest players in the world within our ranks will not go amiss I am sure.

"A thank you must also go to Darlington Borough Council and local RFU for their underpinning support.

"We will be working closely with both partners as we approach the world cup to provide an array of chances for the region to join in the celebrations and legacy."

Comments (13)

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9:49am Tue 26 Aug 14

g8crasher says...

Brilliant news for all involved at the club

Just goes to prove what a fantastic facility we have in the stadium and how if it's run my people who care about the teams who play in it and the town it is in what a huge success it can be!!! Can only get bigger and better for Mowden!!

To the Premiership!!!!!
Brilliant news for all involved at the club Just goes to prove what a fantastic facility we have in the stadium and how if it's run my people who care about the teams who play in it and the town it is in what a huge success it can be!!! Can only get bigger and better for Mowden!! To the Premiership!!!!! g8crasher
  • Score: 25

10:00am Tue 26 Aug 14

truthhurts69 says...

absolutely amazing news. well dont to all involved. Tickets for that I think
absolutely amazing news. well dont to all involved. Tickets for that I think truthhurts69
  • Score: 10

10:03am Tue 26 Aug 14

LUSTARD says...

a bit of good news
a bit of good news LUSTARD
  • Score: 9

10:04am Tue 26 Aug 14

LUSTARD says...

truthhurts69 wrote:
absolutely amazing news. well dont to all involved. Tickets for that I think
well done u mean, suspected tuesday morning eyesight after a good bank holiday lol.
[quote][p][bold]truthhurts69[/bold] wrote: absolutely amazing news. well dont to all involved. Tickets for that I think[/p][/quote]well done u mean, suspected tuesday morning eyesight after a good bank holiday lol. LUSTARD
  • Score: 3

6:13pm Tue 26 Aug 14

QUAKERLADY says...

truthhurts69 wrote:
absolutely amazing news. well dont to all involved. Tickets for that I think
Think the headline is a bit misleading. They are staying at Rockcliffe and using the arena for training, that is all. They are playing one game in the World Cup at St James Park, Newcastle.
I suppose they might have a friendly or open training game at the arena but that is all it will be.
[quote][p][bold]truthhurts69[/bold] wrote: absolutely amazing news. well dont to all involved. Tickets for that I think[/p][/quote]Think the headline is a bit misleading. They are staying at Rockcliffe and using the arena for training, that is all. They are playing one game in the World Cup at St James Park, Newcastle. I suppose they might have a friendly or open training game at the arena but that is all it will be. QUAKERLADY
  • Score: -5

6:53pm Tue 26 Aug 14

laughingboy51 says...

Great News indeed..............
..........especially for Darlingtons biggest Rugby Fan

Councillor Bill Dixon......
Great News indeed.............. ..........especially for Darlingtons biggest Rugby Fan Councillor Bill Dixon...... laughingboy51
  • Score: -1

8:19pm Tue 26 Aug 14

stevegg says...

A fantastic coup for the rugby club. Just goes to show what can be achieved when the stadium is being ran by people with competance.
A fantastic coup for the rugby club. Just goes to show what can be achieved when the stadium is being ran by people with competance. stevegg
  • Score: 4

9:16pm Tue 26 Aug 14

spottycow says...

WELL DONE LADS AND LASESS
WELL DONE LADS AND LASESS spottycow
  • Score: 4

9:53pm Tue 26 Aug 14

alic1993 says...

I am sure the volunteers, staff and fans will get at least a few games of the rugby world cup at the Darlington arena. They deserve it after all the hard work that the Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club staff, members and volunteers have put in for the past year building the arena up to what it is now.
I am sure the volunteers, staff and fans will get at least a few games of the rugby world cup at the Darlington arena. They deserve it after all the hard work that the Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club staff, members and volunteers have put in for the past year building the arena up to what it is now. alic1993
  • Score: 4

8:43pm Wed 27 Aug 14

spragger says...

Good news but the real win would have been having it as a venue for games
Good news but the real win would have been having it as a venue for games spragger
  • Score: 1

9:00pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Temp50 says...

Absolutely delighted with the way Mowden have shown the way to run the Arena. However I find it galling that Bill Dixon supports everything they with every photo opportunity- if he and the council had been as supportive with Darlington Football Club we may not now still be playing at Bishop!!
Absolutely delighted with the way Mowden have shown the way to run the Arena. However I find it galling that Bill Dixon supports everything they with every photo opportunity- if he and the council had been as supportive with Darlington Football Club we may not now still be playing at Bishop!! Temp50
  • Score: 4

10:54pm Wed 27 Aug 14

sally139 says...

As a Kiwi living in Darlington I cant wait for the best team in the world o be on my doorstep. Tried to get tickets for the matches at Newcastle but had all sold out so if there are any out there for sale???
As a Kiwi living in Darlington I cant wait for the best team in the world o be on my doorstep. Tried to get tickets for the matches at Newcastle but had all sold out so if there are any out there for sale??? sally139
  • Score: 1

12:07pm Thu 28 Aug 14

RealLivin says...

Well done Mowden Park, After seeing over 7000 in the arena for the premiership 7's and live on BT sport, its good to see the arena being used for what it was meant for although not the same sport. This is what happens when you have people know what they are doing and more important care about about it, and the only picture of Bill I would like to see at the arena, is him passing the new training course they could do "How to be successful in business", after all the rest of Darlington is a "business" and it could do with the same knowledgeable and passionate people running it, and catching up to those who are putting Darlington on the map, it would be nice to keep our visitors after he game or get them to make a weekend out of Darlington.

Well done to all at Mowden Park
Well done Mowden Park, After seeing over 7000 in the arena for the premiership 7's and live on BT sport, its good to see the arena being used for what it was meant for although not the same sport. This is what happens when you have people know what they are doing and more important care about about it, and the only picture of Bill I would like to see at the arena, is him passing the new training course they could do "How to be successful in business", after all the rest of Darlington is a "business" and it could do with the same knowledgeable and passionate people running it, and catching up to those who are putting Darlington on the map, it would be nice to keep our visitors after he game or get them to make a weekend out of Darlington. Well done to all at Mowden Park RealLivin
  • Score: 1

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