Rugby 2015 World Cup bases decided

Ireland will move between locations for their Pool D matches in Wales and in London

The bases for all of the teams competing at next year's 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and Wales have been completed.

Joe Schmidt’s Irish side will move venues between each fixture, making use of Celtic Manor in Newport, the FA’s centre of excellence St George’s Park, Surrey Sports Park and the Sport Wales National Centre.

But Schmidt’s side will remain at Carton House in Ireland until the Thursday before they face Canada in their opening pool match on September 19th in the Millenium Stadium. Cardiff.

The side will then travel to the FA’s St Georges Park until September 24th before moving closer to Wembley Stadium for the second of the pool games against Romania on September 27th.


Following the second match the team is again on the move, this time to the Raddisson Blu Hotel in Guilford, where they will train at Surrey Sports Park training grounds with a move to the London Marriott in the days leading up to the third pool game against Italy in Olympic Park in East London.

The final move takes Ireland to Celtic Manor Resort on October 5th ahead of the final match and possible pool decider against France. Located in the Usk Valley, the Cetic Manor Resort is where the successful 2010 Ryder Cup and the 2014 NATO Summit were held.

“The Ireland Team Management are delighted that during RWC15 the Ireland team will be based at these four locations for the pool stages of the tournament,” said Michael Kearney, Ireland Team Manager

“Team bases play a vital role in team preparation and it is important that the facilities are of a world class standard while also providing a positive atmosphere for the players and management in between training and team activities.”

Ireland suffered badly with their team base location during the 2007 World Cup in France. Rather than staying in the city of Bordeaux, the team was lodged out of town in a souless Hotel removed from everything, where the players were unhappy.

Ireland subsequently struggled in their pool games before departing the competition after being beaten by France and Argentina, failing to advance beyond the pool stages.

New Zealand will base themselves in London at The Lensbury and St Mary’s University, the venue chosen by the Olympic Council of Ireland for Irish Olymnpic team during the London 2012 Games.

England coach Stuart Lancaster has secured Pennyhill Park as the host nation's main training base.

Lancaster has opted to keep England at their accustomed Bagshot headquarters for as long as possible during the pool stages of the 2015 tournament. England could even stay at their normal Surrey base for all but one fixture in the whole competition, should they top Pool A and progress to the final.

Lancaster’s men will base themselves in Salford for their final Pool A match on Saturday, October 10, at the Manchester City Stadium.

England will play three of their four pool contests at Twickenham, and will gain clear benefit from sticking to well-practised routines. Rugby World Cup organisers have confirmed 41 training bases will be used throughout the tournament in September and October next year.

“It’s great to have Pennyhill Park as our training base,” said Lancaster. “It’s a place we are used to — the facilities are first-class, especially with the new training centre.”

Wales are perhaps the next biggest winners in the team base allocation, with half of their Pool A preparations taking place at their usual home The Vale Resort.

Warren Gatland’s men will play two of their four group matches at the Millennium Stadium, but also take on Australia and England at Twickenham.

Wales will be based at London Irish’s newly-completed all-purpose training complex Hazelwood.

Gatland is expected to mirror RBS 6 Nations trips to Twickenham, with Wales aiming to travel to London Irish’s set-up in midweek before their weekend clashes in the English capital.

“The selection of team bases are extremely important for the squad’s preparation and we were very impressed with the packages on offer from the approved venues,” said Gatland.

“We are very familiar with The Vale and their pedigree for hosting sporting teams is second to none.

“In addition the new Hazlewood complex is another great base, which really suits our needs.”

Tournament organisers England Rugby 2015 vetted more than 100 applications from complexes to become team-base venues. The final list of 41 centres, including pitches, state-of-the-art gyms, swimming pools and hotels, allow teams the flexibility to based close to each fixture.

Scotland will rotate between Hartpury College, where Gloucester Rugby train, Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Leeds and Newcastle Royal Grammar School.

Pennyhill Park and The Vale Resort are among the eight training bases for the tournament’s knockout stages.

Chief executive Debbie Jevans believes organising committee England Rugby 2015 will provide all 20 competing nations with first-class bases.

“We are lucky to have some fantastic facilities right across the country and the enthusiasm to be part of the tournament has been really encouraging,” said Jevans.

“We are confident that we now have 41 high-quality training environments which provide a home away from home for the teams.”

International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset also hailed the organising committee's preparations.

“The teams participating at England 2015 will have access to exceptional facilities the length and breadth of the host nation. It is the attention to detail on and off the field that will elevate this event to new levels.”

Argentina: Cheltenham RFC (Cheltenham RFC, Leisure , Gym 66); Haileybury School, St George's Park.

Australia: University of Bath; Dulwich College.

Canada: Cardiff Metropolitan University; West Park Leeds RUFC (West Park Leeds RUFC, John Charles Centre for Sport); Leicester Grammar School; Swansea University (Swansea University, Wales National Pool Swansea).

England: Pennyhill Park; Salford (The AJ Bell Stadium, Irlam and Cadishead Leisure Centre).

Fiji: Milton Keynes and MK Dons (Woughton On The Green, Bletchley Leisure Centre); Swansea University; London Irish RFC (London Irish RFC, Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Complex).

France: The Vale Resort; Trinity School Croydon. Georgia: Woodbury Park and Bicton College (Woodbury Park Hotel and Golf Club, Bicton College); Bristol and SGS Wise (South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre); Celtic Manor and Newport (Newport High School/Active Living Centre, The Celtic Academy).

Ireland: Celtic Manor and Newport; St George's Park; Surrey Sports Park;

Sport Wales National Centre.

Italy: Surrey Sports Park; Cobham RFC (Cobham RFC, ACS Cobham).

Japan: Warwick School; Brighton College. Namibia: Loughborough University; Cobham RFC; Plymouth (University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth Albion RFC, Plymouth Life Centre and Royal Navy Rugby Union).

New Zealand: The Lensbury and St Mary's University; Sport Wales National Centre; Darlington Mowden Park (Darlington Mowden Park RFC, Middlesbrough FC).

Romania: Sutton Coldfield RFC (Sutton Coldfield RFC, Birmingham Metropolitan College, Wyndley Leisure Centre, CrossFitB76); Woodbury Park and Bicton College, Dulwich College.

Samoa: Sutton Coldfield RFC; University of Brighton (University of Brighton, Prince Regent Swimming Complex); Gateshead (Gateshead International Stadium, Gateshead Leisure Centre, Gateshead College); Milton Keynes and MK Dons.

Scotland: Hartpury College; Leeds Metropolitan University and University of Leeds; Newcastle Royal Grammar School.

South Africa: The Lensbury and St Mary's University; University of Birmingham; Gateshead; Eastbourne College and University of Brighton (Eastbourne College, University of Brighton — Eastbourne College).

Tonga: Cheltenham RFC, Loughborough University; University of Exeter; University of Northumbria. USA: Haileybury School; Hartpury College; Leeds Trinity University (Leeds Trinity University, Kirkstall Leisure Centre); Portsmouth Royal Navy Rugby Union.

Wales: The Vale Resort; London Irish RFC. Final Qualification Play-off Winner (TBC): Celtic Manor and Newport; Loughborough University; Moulton College; Manchester (Broughton Park FC Rugby Union, The Hough End Centre, Manchester Aquatics Centre).

Knockout phase bases: Celtic Manor and Newport; Swansea University; The Vale Resort; Sport Wales National Centre; Pennyhill Park; Surrey Sports Park; The Lensbury and St Mary's University; London Irish RFC.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times