Sir Ian McGeechan has urged the sports-mad Leeds public to embrace next year’s Rugby World Cup and the four teams visiting the city, writes NICK WESTBY.
Leeds United’s Elland Road will host two pool matches next September in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with tickets for all 48 matches across 13 venues going on sale today.
The city hosts Italy against Canada from Pool D on Saturday, September 26, and Scotland versus the USA in Pool B the following day.
“It’s going to be a fantastic event for the whole of the county,” said Yorkshire Carnegie’s executive chairman, who led his native Scotland into two World Cups. “It’s the third biggest sporting event now behind the football World Cup and the Olympics and for it to be coming to the city of Leeds is pretty special.
“And the fact that the tickets are going on sale means it’s that little bit closer to happening. It’s all very exciting.
“Interest in rugby has never been greater and the fact we can see two games here and four teams should be embraced and welcomed.
“We’ve seen these teams on the television before but there’s nothing like seeing a game live and the atmosphere created by the four sets of fans will be terrific.
“Scotland have generally done well at a World Cup. Ok, in 2011 they failed to get out of the group but they generally reach the quarter-finals.
“And the other three teams are all emerging nations with very different styles.
“By seeing them live you get to appreciate that so much more.”
The 2015 World Cup begins on Friday, September 18, with England’s opening Pool A game against Fiji costing fans anything from £75 to £315.
Tickets to watch England’s closing pool game against the final play-off winner at the City of Manchester Stadium on October 10 range from £50 to £250, with children’s prices set at £15.
The best seats at the World Cup final on October 31 at Twickenham cost £715.
England 2015’s ticket sales window will be open until September 29 with any over-subscribed matches being decided via a ballot.
England Rugby 2015 have to raise £250m from tickets to cover the cost of the tournament and pay the International Rugby Board £80m under the hosting agreement, meaning the average ticket will cost around £100. Organisers say almost a quarter of all tickets will be under £50 however.
An England Rugby 2015 spokeswoman said: “We have worked hard to create as many low priced tickets as we can – over half a million tickets will cost £50 or less.”
Tickets will be sold online via the official Rugby World Cup 2015 ticketing website tickets.rugbyworldcup.com