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Fans rush for World Cup tickets

Demand for the tickets for next year's Rugby World Cup in England saw supporters waiting in online queues for an hour after the sales window opened on Friday morning.

England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans said the computer system worked well but that demand was "high" with up to 50,000 people waiting in a queue.

Organisers pointed out that fans could wait to submit their application until the sales window closes on September 29 because distribution will be via a ballot rather than on a first-come-first-served basis.

Jevans said: "Applications have gone really well. The queue time was about an hour, which is what we anticipated. There's been good enthusiasm.

"We were able to have thousands of people on the site at the same time and it's been going well.

"People are applying for tickets across all 48 matches and that's what made me really pleased. At one point there were over 50,000 waiting in a queue, so that's pretty good and there haven't been any technological issues."

Jevans also warned supporters not to buy tickets from unauthorised secondary websites which are already claiming to have tickets to sell and advertising them for more than 10 times the face value. One site offered a final ticket for £8,870 - the most expensive official price is £715.

She added: "We don't know if that ticket exists. I am passionate that we have our tickets at face value and getting to fans.

"I don't like seeing tickets as commodities, I want to see them getting into the hands of people who want to watch the event."

Over-subscribed games will be decided via a ballot after the sales window shuts on September 29.

Prices for adults range from £15 for low-profile group games up to £715 for the best seats at the final at Twickenham. The cheapest adult ticket to watch an England group game at Twickenham will be £75, and £50 for their match against a play-off winner in Manchester.

The cheapest seats for Wales and Ireland matches are £50, but Scotland fans will only have to pay £20 for the category D tickets against Japan and the USA. Tickets for children start at £7.

Fans have been warned they can be refused entry if they buy them from unlicensed sources under the organisers' terms and conditions.

The ticket agency Ticketmaster has brought in measures to combat secondary agencies using sophisticated software to flood their website with ticket applications for high-demand games.

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