Two years to go to Rugby World Cup final

31 October 2013 in 2012 Games and legacy and Sport and leisure
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales has marked two years to go to the final of Rugby World Cup 2015 by encouraging residents to get behind the sport’s showpiece event.
Sir Robin and Will Greenwood with Kim Bromley-Derry, chief executive of Newham Council

Newham Council and the London Legacy Development Corporation, through the E20 Stadium Partnership, have agreed that five matches can be played at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the 2015 tournament, including the prestigious Bronze Play-Off game. The final will be at Twickenham on 31 October 2015.

Sir Robin, Will Greenwood, a member of England’s Rugby World Cup 2003 winning team, and Newham Council chief executive Kim Bromley-Derry are looking forward to Newham playing a key role in the delivery of RWC 2015.

The Mayor said: “Most people in Newham will probably be able to tell you West Ham United’s Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters won the 1966 football world cup for England. But what they probably won’t know is that Jonny Wilkinson won the 2003 Rugby World Cup for England. We aim to change that.

“We are looking forward to hosting matches at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. It represents another marvellous community benefit from our part ownership of the Stadium. We also intend to use it to introduce our young people to a sport that traditionally has not been played here much, outside of places like East London Rugby Club in West Ham and some schools.

“Rugby is a sports development priority in our Every Newham Child programme. Newham may be football territory but we want to inspire young people to give rugby and other sports a try.”

Will Greenwood added: “I was lucky enough to watch a lot of the 2012 Games in the Olympic Stadium. I saw Usain Bolt win the 100m and Mo Farah win the 5000m and the atmosphere was incredible. So to have 54,000 people watching the likes of South Africa and New Zealand and the Bronze Play-Off will be truly special and I hope will grab the attention of West Ham United fans who potentially might consider becoming Saracens or Harlequins fans or exploring the rugby avenue.

“Newham residents should really get behind Rugby World Cup 2015. It’s coming to town and I hope to see people there.”

Dennis Hone, London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive, said: “It is exciting that in just two years time the rugby world champions will be crowned. We are proud that Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will play host to some of the best teams in the world as part of an amazing festival of rugby. We are on track to prepare the Stadium for the tournament and its long term tenants West Ham United and UK Athletics. It will be a fantastic venue where rugby fans from home and abroad will enjoy some great matches in the iconic Stadium that hosted the London 2012 Games.”

An interview with Will Greenwood will be published in issue 287 of the Newham Mag distributed from 8 November.