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Published: 27 August 2014

Surrey Sports Park confirmed as an official Team Base for Rugby World Cup 2015

England Rugby 2015, the Organising Committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC 2015), has announced the approved list of 41 Team Bases that will host the 20 participating teams during the Tournament, taking place in England and in Cardiff between 18 September and 31 October 2015.

The University of Surrey’s Surrey Sports Park will be a Team Base for Italy and Ireland at Rugby World Cup 2015. The Surrey Sports Park Team Base will consist of world-class grass pitches, artificial 3G pitches, a 50m, 8-lane swimming pool, 120 station gym, dedicated strength and conditioning studio and more. Surrey Sports Park will also host teams during the knockout stages of the Tournament.

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 from across the country and in Wales were received.  Surrey Sports Park 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 Rugby World Cup 2015. With Italy and Ireland based in Surrey Sports Park this gives Guildford and Surrey the opportunity to be part of the world’s third largest sporting event and celebration of rugby next year.

A mix of rugby and football clubs, schools, colleges, universities and dedicated training facilities will be utilised by the 20 teams, taking the reach of the Tournament even further.

Paul Blanchard, Surrey Sports Park CEO, said, “We are extremely proud and honoured to have been selected by England Rugby 2015 as an official Team Base for Rugby World Cup 2015.

“We look forward to hosting the huge rugby nations of both Italy and Ireland here at the University of Surrey’s Surrey Sports Park, where we will ensure players and coaches can prepare for one of the world’s largest sporting events in the optimum training environment.

“Surrey Sports Park already has a proud history of hosting elite teams and athletes including English Premiership’s Harlequins, 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup champions England and 17 Olympic and Paralympic nations ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

“Guildford and Surrey once again has its opportunity to take its place in one of the biggest sporting tournaments on the planet and we hope the local community will be able to feel a real part of Rugby World Cup 2015 once the teams arrive later next year.”

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: "I’m delighted that our Sports Park has been selected for the Rugby World Cup 2015. It is particularly fitting given our international mix of staff and students, encompassing 145 different nationalities.

"I look forward to welcoming the teams to Surrey Sports Park, one of Europe's leading sports venues and home to world-class facilities, including three multi-purpose sports arenas, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and state-of-the-art gym."

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 in Wales.”

Luigi Troiani, 47-times Italian international and Rugby World Cup participant, currently Italy team manager, visited the facilities and hotels that will host Italy during RWC 2015 earlier this summer; “I was impressed by the quality both of indoor and outdoor training facilities at our Team Base and, as everybody in our team, thrilled by the prospective of being part of such a great event as the next year’s Rugby World Cup 2015. England has confirmed its great passion for sports over the years, with fantastic crowds attending the 2012 Olympics and more recently the first stages of the Tour de France. As such, I’ve no doubt Italy will receive a warm welcome by the local community which will help us fight for an historical qualification to the knock-out stages, which is our aim for next year's Rugby masterpiece event.”

Michael Kearney, Ireland Team Manager, said: “The Ireland Team Management is delighted that during RWC 2015 the Ireland team will be based at Celtic Manor and Newport, St George’s Park, Surrey Sports Park and Sport Wales National Centre for a portion of our time at the tournament. 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.”