The University of Exeter is among 41 Team Bases who will host the 20 participating countries during the England 2015 Rugby World Cup.

University of Exeter to host Tonga at 2015 Rugby World Cup

The University of Exeter has been announced as an official team base for Tonga during the England 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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.

Exeter has been confirmed as the location for two Team Bases at Rugby World Cup 2015. The University of Exeter will be a Team Base for Tonga whilst Woodbury Park and Bicton College will host Romania and Georgia.

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.

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.  Exeter’s bases have 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 Tonga, Romania and Georgia based in the city, this gives Exeter 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.

Cllr Rosie Denham, Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture said “I am delighted to hear that we will have three international rugby teams based in and near Exeter for Rugby World Cup 2015.  The sports facilities at the University of Exeter are world class and will offer Tonga an amazing training facility in the heart of the city.  Woodbury Park Hotel and Bicton College have also invested heavily in their sport and leisure facilities, and will offer Georgia and Romania a team base away from the city in stunning Devon countryside.  Exeter and the Heart of Devon will give the three teams a very warm Devon welcome.”

 University of Exeter Assistant Director Sport Neil Sheppard commented:

“We are delighted to be part of such an important sporting event, and are very much looking forward to hosting Tonga. It is fantastic that the World Cup is coming to Exeter and gives us a fantastic opportunity to show case the city and University.

We are particularly proud of our rugby programme here. We work closely with Exeter Chiefs and are honoured to support players at an international level. 

“The recent re-development of our facilities and re-surfacing of our rubber-crumb pitch make us the perfect venue for a visiting team and I hope that having Tonga here will inspire students.

“It’s been an excellent year for Rugby at the University and this is the icing on the cake.”

Joe Hammond, General Manager of Woodbury Park added:  “We’re really excited to be hosting the Romanian and Georgian teams in partnerships with Bicton College for the Rugby World Cup 2015.  Being part of the third largest global sporting event is a huge honour.  The community spirit around this tournament is growing all the time. Rugby is a huge part of Exeter and we’re ready to take on the World Cup!”

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.”

Date: 26 August 2014