Rugby World Cup 2015
IRB chief confident of 'record-breaking' World Cup
September 17, 2012
IRB CEO Brett Gosper is confident that England Rugby 2015 will deliver a 'record-breaking' World Cup © Getty Images
International Rugby Board chief executive Brett Gosper has backed England to deliver a 'record-breaking' World Cup in 2015.
Gosper, who also serves as managing director of Rugby World Cup Ltd, today offered a ringing endorsement of the work being done by the organising committee - England Rugby 2015 - as they marked three years until the opening game of the sport's next global showpiece.
"There have been some good foundations laid for this World Cup and there is a good partnership between Rugby World Cup and England Rugby 2015," said Gosper, who is only a month into his high-profile position. "We are three years out and things are starting to get exciting. The pool draw is on December 3 and things flow on naturally from that point with the venue selection, the match schedule and the ticketing strategy following next year."
Talking to reporters at England Rugby 2015's Twickenham headquarters, Gosper welcomed the pressure of delivering a tournament to rival the spectacle that was the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games staged in London.
"We are conscious there has been an amazing event in the last few weeks in London with the Olympics," he said. "It's putting the right kind of pressure on us. We are very aware it was a hugely successful event on every level; it really captured the hearts and minds of people not just in this country but around the world.
"Everyone is in awe of what happened here and we as an organising committee are in awe of that too. But that's good pressure to have and our goal is to deliver on that pressure and produce something everyone in this country is going to be proud of."
Gosper, who is set to work alongside one of the architects of the Games - Debbie Jevans, who was recently appointed as the new chief executive of England Rugby 2015, and is keen to generate the same kind of feel-good factor that lifted the Olympics to unprecedented heights for a sporting event in the UK.
"There's that symbiotic relationship that the Olympics has with its host," he explained. "There is no question that the Olympics were great for Great Britain, but what was also important was that Great Britain was brilliant for the Olympics. I think that is the kind of relationship and payback we want to have.
"This is obviously going to be a great World Cup for England but will also be good for the World Cup. We are confident England are going to put on a special and record breaking World Cup on many levels."
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Graham Jenkins is the Senior Editor of ESPNscrum and you can also follow him on Twitter.