Organisers aim high for 2015 event
The man in charge of delivering the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England is confident that the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have finally got their house in order and hopes the competition will be the best in history.
Paul Vaughan, chief executive of host organisation England Rugby 2015 (ER 2015), is aware that England performing well is a big factor in the success of the competition and hopes they will rise to the challenge of competing for the Webb Ellis trophy on home soil.
"I think the RFU and English rugby they have pretty much got themselves sorted out now in terms of improving the governance of the game and getting the right culture involved in the England team," Vaughan said. "We want and need them to do well because inevitably a successful England team will help us raise interest and it will help us sell a lot of tickets."
He added: "We want to make sure that happens. We have to believe that England will get themselves into a good position."
Key figures from the world of rugby gathered opposite Twickenham on Monday to mark the official launch of planning for the tournament. Twickenham has been the scene of a number of long-running boardroom battles at the RFU, which ended with a number of high-profile departures amid a backdrop of a poor World Cup campaign that saw England knocked out in the quarter-finals.
England's disciplinary troubles in New Zealand also dogged the team and former manager Martin Johnson was heavily criticised for not keeping his players in check.
The 2015 World Cup will be the first time that England has hosted the competition on its own and they are confident that it will be even more successful than last year's event in New Zealand, which gained widespread praise.
Around 1.3million people attended the tournament in 2011, but ER 2015 hope to sell around three million tickets in England. The economic downturn could have an impact, but Vaughan claimed that supporters will be able to afford to watch games, with pool tickets available for less than £10.
"Our objective is to be the best Rugby World Cup in the history of the game," Vaughan added. "It will be a difficult challenge. They did a fantastic job in New Zealand. They were absolutely brilliant at running the event.
"Part of the task will be to get the ticketing strategy right. We are going to make sure the cup will be affordable and accessible to everyone."