World Cup tickets selling fast

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Ticket sale targets for this year’s Rugby World Cup are set to be hit before the competition kicks off in September, tournament chief Stephen Brown has said.

England and Fiji will play the opening 2015 World Cup game at Twickenham in just over nine weeks’ time, and Brown delivered an upbeat message on a visit to Gloucester’s Kingsholm stadium, which will host four pool fixtures.

“Ticket sales have been fantastic – the demand has been unbelievable,” England Rugby 2015 managing director Brown said.

“We are over 80 per cent tickets sold, and we are in a position now where we are likely to hit our target sales before the World Cup starts, which we never thought.

“We want to make sure that every venue is sold out. We want to see every seat filled in every stadium – that is our ambition.”

A total of 48 matches at 13 venues will get under way on September 18, many of them in traditional English football strongholds like St James’ Park in Newcastle and Villa Park, Birmingham, while there are also group fixtures at the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City.

“It is almost certainly going to be the biggest and best (Rugby World Cup) from a commercial perspective, and all of that money goes back into rugby,” Brown added.

“I think you can comfortably say it is going to be the biggest. It’s down to the teams to make it the best from a rugby perspective, but obviously, it is going to be a fantastic spectacle.”

“There is a lot to do in 65 days, but there is a lot of excitement. There is appropriate apprehension, which is good, and everyone is absolutely up for it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance – it doesn’t matter what your role is.”