SPORTS facilities in Leeds have been selected to play a key role at next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Leeds United’s Elland Road ground has previously been confirmed as the venue for two games at the tournament.
Now it has been announced that three teams – Scotland, USA and Canada – will be based in the city during the event.
They will use training facilities at Leeds University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds Trinity University, West Park Leeds Rugby Club and the John Charles Centre for Sport.
Today civic leaders predicted that the city’s ‘team base’ involvement would help local communities feel part of one of the world’s biggest sporting competitions.
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said: “It is fantastic news that so many sites in the city are being used to host the USA, Canada and Scotland.
“We are in a unique position in Leeds where all our three universities can offer world class sporting facilities for these teams, along with the excellent council and community facilities that will be on offer.
“Having the world’s third largest tournament in the city is fantastic and to complement that we can now say we have world class rugby players training at a number of our world class training sites across the city too.” Taking place in England and Wales from September 18 to October 31 next year, the Rugby World Cup will be contested by 20 teams.
The two group games being staged at Elland Road are Italy versus Canada (September 26) and Scotland versus USA (September 27).
Tournament organisers chose the newly-announced team bases following an open tender process that got under way in May last year.
England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans said: “I would like to thank all those who have been part of the team base selection process and we are lucky to have some fantastic facilities right across the country.
“With a wide range of excellent facilities and locations secured the teams can be assured of having all their training needs met whilst allowing us to spread the reach of the tournament even further throughout England and in Wales.”