TICKETS for next year’s Rugby World Cup will go on general sale in September, with organisers confident the tournament will be the best attended ever.
Tickets for all 48 matches, including the three that are scheduled to take place at St James’ Park in Newcastle, will go on sale via an online application process which opens on September 12 and closes on September 29.
From September 12, fans will be able to select the matches they want to attend, with tickets for any oversubscribed games being determined via a ballot.
In advance of the general sale, 500,000 tickets will go on sale to rugby fans via the Rugby Community Ticket Programme launched earlier this year. As part of the scheme, Newcastle Falcons have been offering World Cup tickets to supporters who have taken up their season ticket offer.
Yesterday marked the landmark of 500 days to go until the tournament kicks off with England taking on a qualifier from Oceania at Twickenham, and Debbie Jevans, the CEO of England Rugby 2015, is delighted with the way preparations have been going.
“Our plans are right on track with 500 days to go,” said Jevans. “We are pleased to announce the dates of the general sale, allowing fans to save the date and plan.
“We have seen a very strong response to the Rugby Community Ticket Programme and we are pleased we have enabled clubs to recognise their loyal fans with access to tickets to Rugby World Cup 2015 on home turf.
“Everything is in place now for a great tournament – we can already see the great enthusiasm for the Rugby World Cup 2015 500 days out.”
There had been mounting speculation that with many of the World Cup games taking place in football stadiums, supporters would be segregated along national lines. However, Jevans insists that will not happen.
“To be absolutely clear - we have no plans to segregate fans,” she said. “The beauty of what we’re doing is that we don’t have to worry about segregation, and there won’t be any segregation.”
As part of yesterday’s ticket launch, Lawrence Dallaglio visited St James’ Park to help publicise the games that will be taking place in the North-East next autumn.
The former back rower was a member of Sir Clive Woodward’s victorious World Cup team in 2003, and is optimistic that the current England side can repeat the success on home soil.
“Stuart Lancaster and his staff are building a really strong team now,” said Dallaglio. “They are taking on and beating regularly some of the best teams in the world, so it’s going to be very, very exciting from that prospect.
“There is still a lot of rugby to be played in those 500 days between now and the start of the tournament, but England will understand a lot more about where they are, perhaps, when they come back from New Zealand.
“They are playing four Test matches against New Zealand in the coming months and I for one, as a former England player and as a fan, am very excited about not only the World Cup being here but obviously England having a very strong and formidable team.”