Rugby awarded special status ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Cllr Heather Timms (far left), Cllr Claire Edwards, Cllr Michael Stokes, and MP Mark Pawsey (far right), with volunteers to launch Rugby's status as proud home of the game. Photo by Jamie Gray.
Cllr Heather Timms (far left), Cllr Claire Edwards, Cllr Michael Stokes, and MP Mark Pawsey (far right), with volunteers to launch Rugby's status as proud home of the game. Photo by Jamie Gray.

The town has been awarded ‘proud home’ status today by the Rugby World Cup organisers.

The agreement with England Rugby 2015 means that Rugby will be part of the city dressing programme, which will be put up around the town to welcome visitors before and during the tournament.

The borough has marked one year to go to the start of Rugby World Cup 2015 by announcing details of how the birthplace of the game will celebrate the tournament next year.

Plans include a series of events which will form part of a festival of Rugby which will run before and during the tournament, a cultural and education programme, an enhanced planting and floral programme and work with local rugby clubs to provide hospitality, social and match opportunities for visiting teams.

The borough council has also agreed to provide an official Fanzone where fans will be able to watch matches, socialise, and interact with official tournament sponsors.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for economic development and culture, said: “Ever since Rugby World Cup 2015 was awarded to England we felt that the tournament would be too big to miss, and so it is proving.

“It is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and we are incredibly proud to be recognised with an official ‘proud home’ status.

“Since 1823, when William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball and ran with it, we have been proud of our history and keen to share it with the world.

“With this status, and with the cultural programme and Fanzone, we will have a wonderful opportunity to share our history even wider.

“I look forward to welcoming many visitors to the birthplace of the game both before and during next year’s tournament.”

Individuals, businesses and community groups who wish to get involved in the events and activities programme can email communications@rugby.gov.uk, or drop into the visitor centre and leave their contact details.