RFU to reap additional £15million from World Cup

Despite England's early World Cup exit, the RFU is set to benefit from a £15million windfall
©Press Association

The Rugby Football Union has turned a profit of £15million from hosting of the England 2015 World Cup tournament, it has been announced.

Stephen Brown, managing director of the organisers England 2015, said it had exceeded the revenue target of £250million which covers the surplus it must pay to World Rugby of £80million for hosting the tournament - which has also left an extra £15million for the RFU.

Brown said: "From England 2015's perspective this had been a huge success.

"This was a tournament of record attendances and sell-out matches. Wembley Stadium twice broke the record for the biggest ever Rugby World Cup attendance. Our football venues were a huge success and packed for every match.

"Our fanzones have been a huge success. There's been a brilliant atmosphere and they've been a way of expanding this great event.

"We have had over 1million people through 15 official fanzones. They've had huge support from the cities and we've been very grateful for that.

"One of the challenges we had was transport, we always knew it was going to be difficult. We had a few challenges at the beginning. We were never complacent and our transport partners helped us deliver the success we were ultimately able to achieve."

2.47million tickets were sold for England 2015, achieving 98 per cent of the capacity of its venues overall.

World Rugby's chief executive Brett Gosper also addressed World Rugby's decision to issue a statement declaring referee Craig Joubert was guilty of an incorrect call at the end of Scotland's quarter-final defeat to Australia.

He told a news conference: "If there's any regret it's the perception we threw him under a bus, which certainly wasn't the case. It was normal for us to say there was a mistake made. He is a world class referee, he continues to be one of our top referees. The perception was not where we would have perhaps liked it."

Earlier, Gosper had insisted England's premature departure from their own World Cup "didn't make a dent'' on the tournament's success

Gosper told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek: "That little bit of extra froth and buzz of the hosts keeping on going might have added something, but certainly as a tournament globally it really wasn't affected by that departure.

"We've had incredible television audience scores, interest throughout the globe, interest in England and the UK held up. Actually, it really didn't make a dent on the tournament at all.

"It broke every record on every metric we've got: viewing audiences, number of tickets sold, commercial values, sponsorship.

"On core metrics it was certainly the biggest and I think the best also because of the incredible atmosphere."


2015 Rugby World Cup - Points Table