England awarded 2015 Rugby Cup, Japan 2019 hosts

England will host the 2015 Rugby World Cup and Japan will stage the event in Asia for the first time four years later, the International Rugby Board (IRB) council said on Tuesday.

Japan, who lost out to New Zealand in the bidding for the 2011 edition, and England, hosts of the 1991 tournament, were awarded the rights ahead of bids from South Africa and Italy.

The controversy of previous decisions caused by the “horse-trading” of votes was avoided as the 26-man IRB Council passed the recommendations of tournament organisers Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) by 16 votes to 10.

The RWCL Board, who were asked to review all the bids, argued last month that England would maximise the event’s commercial possibilities while a first World Cup in Asia would be a huge boost for the development of the game in that region.

“We need two things more importantly now. The first is money for the game and the second is rolling it around the world,” IRB chairperson Bernard Lapasset said after announcing the winners.

England failed in their bid for the 2007 tournament when France won votes from the Home Unions after promising matches to Wales, Scotland and Ireland, while Japan were surprising losers last time.—Reuters

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