By Kate Madley
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis has confirmed Wales will definitely stage some of matches as part of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, hosted by England.
The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is currently on a shortlist of 17 potential venues for the tournament’s 48 matches and is the only location outside England.
But while the allocation of final pool matches is not expected to be confirmed until December 3, the WRU chief says choice of the Millennium Stadium is not in doubt.
“Without question we are going to get matches to come to the Millennium Stadium,” says Roger Lewis. “We have been working very closely with Rugby World Cup Limited and have a great relationship.
“I’m also really pleased to say the Welsh Government is supporting us to get as many matches as we can, as are Cardiff City Council. We have taken a tripartite approach to Rugby World Cup Limited, with the Welsh Government and Cardiff City Council offering a whole host of benefits in kind to make sure we host as many matches as possible.”
“We aim to be as supportive as we can, like we were with the Olympics when we worked with the Welsh Government and Cardiff City Council to bring 11 football matches to Wales.”
It is expected that up to 12 venues will be chosen to stage matches, with the Millennium Stadium possibly being allocated somewhere between six and eight games.
“Without doubt we will get a significant number of matches to the Millennium Stadium and that will give huge economic benefit as well rugby benefit to Wales and the people of Wales,” he said.
Roger Lewis sees rugby as one of Wales’s best exports, with the players and the sport becoming brand ambassadors for the nation. Wales World Wide discussed with Roger Lewis sport as an export, and the work of the WRU in developing international links for both rugby and Welsh business benefit.
The full interview will be published next week.