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RFU reject Wales RWC offer for Millennium Stadium


The Millennium Stadium is purpose built for Rugby

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Article Published: Thursday 6 December 2012


The Rugby Football Union have rejected an offer from Wales to host England's 2015 Rugby World Cup pool game against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

England and Wales were drawn in the same pool with 1991 and 1999 winners Rugby World Cup winners Australia.

England's original bid to host the Rugby World Cup proposed that eight matches could be held at the Millennium Stadium which is one of 17 stadia included on the proposed list by England Rugby 2015.

Following the Rugby World Cup draw Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis suggested that the pool match between England and Wales could be hosted in Cardiff.

"We would be very welcoming host," Lewis said. "Everything must be up for discussion because it is the finest rugby stadium in the world."

"It is very important to remember that Wales was included in England's bid - for matches in the Millennium Stadium. We will extend a big welcome to anyone."

However Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie has rejected the offer and said that Twickenham would be an ideal place to hold the match.

"We appreciate the kind offer and it's a lovely place to go and play rugby but we do have a nice stadium of our own," Ritchie told BBC Sport.

"We think it's a great place to come and play rugby as well. It's not purely an RFU decision, the Rugby World Cup board look at it, all sorts of considerations need to happen.

"But obviously we would be extremely keen to play the match here and think that we can provide a great setting for a great game.

"The Rugby World Cup board has to look at all of that, not just what happens to be a very high profile game," Ritchie added. "We will happily make our views clear on that and we'll see what comes out in about three months.

"It's always important for all of us to have a sense of humour in terms of making that invitation, but we feel we have a decent spot here to play rugby and we would be delighted to host it here as well.

"The lovely thing about the draw is that it's already engaging people to think about 2015."

Wales also want to play their pool opponents Australia in Cardiff but such a big match would give Wales significant home advantage and may not be permitted.

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