Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Exeter joins long list

Sandy Park could host matches at the World Cup

England Rugby 2015 have added Exeter's Sandy Park to the long list of potential venues for the Rugby World Cup.

The home of the Exeter Chiefs has been added due to Bristol City's planned redevelopment of Ashton Gate creating uncertainty over the stadium's availability.

Ashton Gate will remain on the long list but organisers were keen to ensure there was an alternative in the South West if the difficulties posed by the redevelopment cannot be solved.

"We are very pleased to add Sandy Park to the long list of potential match venues for Rugby World Cup 2015," said England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans.

"We want to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2015 is a truly national event, and Sandy Park, located in the rugby heartland of the South West, gives us the option to take the Tournament as far and wide as possible."

The announcement comes after organisers denied reports that the final list of 12 venues had already been decided, with Ashton Gate said to be included.

The addition of Sandy Park means there are now four traditional rugby venues - Twickenham, the Millennium Stadium and Gloucester's Kingsholm ground the others - on a long list otherwise made up of football grounds and the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

Exeter Rugby chairman Tony Rowe added: "We are delighted to have been confirmed as one of the possible match venues on the long list for Rugby World Cup 2015.

"This announcement is exciting news not just for rugby followers, but for everyone living within the region."

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