School hosts international rugby stars

Haileybury School has been confirmed as an official team base for the Rugby World Cup 2015 next autumn

The independent co-educational boarding school will be a team base for the Argentinean and USA teams at the Rugby World Cup 2015. The base includes a top-class rugby pitch, team room, weights facility, swimming pool and changing rooms. In all 20 competing teams will be based across England and Wales, with a range of rugby clubs, schools, universities and dedicated training centres being selected to host them.

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 were received. Haileybury 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 2015. With the Argentinean and USA teams based at Haileybury, this gives Hertford Heath the opportunity to be part of the world’s third largest sporting event and celebration of rugby.

Michael Owen, the former captain of Wales and a British Lion, and now director of rugby at Haileybury, says: “We are extremely excited that Haileybury will be part of Rugby World Cup 2015 and we look forward to welcoming the Argentinean and USA teams next year. We have a rich rugby heritage and being chosen to be a team base for the tournament is an honour for our college. It’s brilliant that we can showcase our state-of-the-art facilities and be involved in such a massive global sporting event. We are very fortunate to be hosting two great teams who will inspire our pupils to excel in their own sporting endeavours.”

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 Wales.”

USA team 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.

“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.

“I grew up in West London so none of these bases are truly familiar to me, but I have visited all of them before, either as a tourist or for work or sports and so I’m excited for my return.”

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