Leeds confirms three team bases for Rugby World Cup 2015

Caption: Representatives from all the team bases in Leeds. (From left) Alex Beaumont (Events manager for University of Leeds Rugby team), Mike Bidgood, (West Park Leeds RUFC), Mark Allman, (head of sport Leeds City Council), Josh Clough, (chairman of Leeds Trinity University Rugby Team), Matthew Byrne, (social secretary for Leeds Trinity Univeristy Rugby Team), Sally Nickson, (head of sport Leeds Met), Rob Wadsworth (head of sport University of Leeds) and Councillor Lucinda Yeadon(Leeds City Council).

England Rugby 2015, the Organising Committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC 2015), has announced the approved list of 41 team bases that will host the 20 participating teams during the Tournament, taking place in England and in Cardiff between September 18 and October 31 2015.

• 41 team bases selected for use at Rugby World Cup 2015

• Leeds offers Team Bases for Scotland, USA and Canada at Rugby World Cup 2015

• Leeds Team Bases consist of facilities at Leeds University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds Trinity University, West Park Leeds Rugby Club and John Charles Centre for Sport

• 20 competing teams will be based across England and Wales

• Range of rugby clubs, schools, universities and dedicated training centres have been selected

• Team Bases extend the reach of Rugby World Cup 2015 to even more communities in England and Wales

Leeds has been successful in a cross-city bid comprising of world class facilities at all three universities, the council’s flagship John Charles Centre for Sport and facilities at West Park Leeds Rugby Club.

The search for team bases was launched via an open tender process in May 2013 and over 90 bids from across the country and in Wales were received. Leeds has worked closely with England Rugby 2015 over the past 12 months to facilitate detailed site visits and liaison with the teams prior to confirmation of its status as an official Team Base for Rugby World Cup 2015. With Scotland, USA and Canada based in Leeds, this gives the city the opportunity to be part of the world’s third largest sporting event and celebration of rugby next year.

A mix of rugby and football clubs, schools, colleges, universities and dedicated training facilities will be utilised by the 20 teams, taking the reach of the Tournament even further.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council 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.

England Rugby 2015 CEO, Debbie Jevans said:

“As the organising committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 we are committed to ensuring that all participating teams have the optimum training environments available to them throughout the Tournament and in this regard we are delighted to announce our 41 official Team Bases for the event. Rugby, rightly, is at the heart of all our planning and we have worked closely with the teams to ensure that they have access to facilities and a Team Base that meet their individual needs.

“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.”

Sally Nickson, head of sport at Leeds Metropolitan University* said:

“Leeds Metropolitan University is delighted to have been chosen as a host training venue for the Scotland Rugby Team to support preparations for their Rugby World Cup 2015 match against the USA on 27th September at Elland Road.

“As hosts we will endeavour to provide high quality facilities, first class service and excellent atmosphere that we hope will make this a truly memorable time for the players and coaches.”

Chairman of West Park Leeds RUFC, Malcolm Kilvington, commented:

“We hosted Italy before their first World Cup match in 1991 and, after a major upgrade to the grounds and clubhouse in 2008, the England senior squad have regularly used the club as a training base. We look forward to welcoming Canada in 2015 and it is a testament to the facilities that the members have developed at the club that the highest competition in the game is again coming to Bramhope.”

Howard Nelson, Leeds Trinity University’s chief operating officer and university secretary, commented:

“We’re honoured to have been chosen as the official training base for the USA team during the Rugby World Club in 2015. We’ve invested millions into providing world-class sports facilities on our campus for students and the local community, so it’s fantastic that the quality of these facilities has been recognised by one of the world’s best rugby teams.

The Rugby World Cup is another great opportunity to put Leeds on a global sporting stage, following the success of the Tour de France Grand Départ in July 2014, and we’re extremely proud to play a part in this.”

Rob Wadsworth, head of sport and physical activity at the University of Leeds, said:

“The University of Leeds has a proven track record in hosting high-profile sports teams, with the Chinese Olympic table tennis team and the Canadian Paralympic wheelchair rugby team both making their training bases here before the London 2012 Olympics, and England’s rugby union team using the University facilities for training camps. We look forward to Scotland’s team coming to the University ahead of rugby union’s showpiece event, the Rugby World Cup. We believe we can provide the facilities and services to support a successful tournament.

“The University boasts world-class sporting facilities so it is fantastic that Scotland’s team will have use of them ahead of the competition. They will be able to enjoy the best of the city, and the University, ahead of some bone-crunching action.”

USA manager Tristan Lewis said;

“I can tell you why we have chosen the bases we have – simply put they offer the best opportunity for us to train well as well as give us the opportunity to be a part of English culture so that everyone has fond and lasting memories of England; it’s history and wealth of pageantry.

“The team will be based in four venues which is different to a lot of the teams who are choosing to stay in one place and do short match day weekends. So we are in Portsmouth for the match in Brighton, Leeds for Scotland, Hertfordshire for the match at the Olympic Stadium with South Africa and finally Gloucester for Japan.”


Notes to Editors

•The search for Rugby World Cup 2015 Team Bases was launched in May 2013

•65 bases were listed as approved bases in February 2014, meeting the criteria to be a Team Base, 41 have been selected as the Official Team Bases for RWC 2015

A Rugby World Cup 2015 Team Base will consist of an outdoor pitch, indoor training facility, a swimming pool, gym and hotel and will be utilised by the competing teams in the lead up to and during the six week event. The facilities must meet international team training standards and be located on one site or within close proximity of one another. Match venue locations have also been taken into account as part of the selection programme.

*Leeds Metropolitan University will become Leeds Beckett University on 22 September.

For more information on Leeds team bases please contact Cat Lindley, Leeds City Council communications team, Catherine.Lindley@leeds.gov.uk , 07712214224

For more information on Rugby World Cup 2015 please contact media@england2015.com / +44 (0)3320 152020.