Sunderland misses out on Rugby World Cup

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SUNDERLAND has lost out on hosting the Rugby World Cup.

The Stadium of Light was on the shortlist of venues for the world cup in 2015, but organisers have not selected the Black Cats home to host any matches.

Newcastle’s St James’ park has, however, been chosen to host stages of the tournament.

London’s Olympic Stadium has also been confirmed as one of 13 venues.

England will kick off the tournament at Twickenham on the evening of Friday September 18, 2015, against a team from the Oceania qualifying group, likely to be Fiji.

Two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final will be at Twickenham, as well as five pool matches including three England games – the other two being against Wales and Australia. Wales’s match against Australia will also be at Twickenham.

Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium will host the other two quarter-finals, plus six pool matches including two Wales games against yet-to-be-determined World Cup qualifiers.

The Olympic Stadium will have four pool games plus the bronze medal match.

Wembley Stadium hosts two pool matches including New Zealand v Argentina, one of the most attractive-looking games of the group phase.

Coventry, Bristol, Derby, Southampton and Sunderland, who were on the original long list of venues, have all been omitted from the final list.

The tournament schedule also sees England play all their group matches at weekends, as do Ireland.

Wales, Scotland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand will all have one midweek fixture.

Scotland will play two matches at Newcastle’s St James’ Park, including eye-catching fixtures against South Africa and Samoa.

England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans said: “The world can now start planning for Rugby World Cup 2015.

“In less than two and a half years’ time, we will be welcoming the world to England and to a celebration of rugby, played in a range of atmospheric stadiums right across the country.”

The 13 venues selected are:

Twickenham (10 matches)

Wembley Stadium (two matches)

Olympic Stadium (five matches)

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (eight matches)

Etihad Stadium, Manchester (one match)

St James’ Park, Newcastle (three matches)

Elland Road, Leeds (two matches)

King Power Stadium, Leicester (three matches)

Villa Park, Birmingham (two matches)

Kingsholm, Gloucester (four matches)

stadiummk, Milton Keynes (three matches); Amex Stadium

Brighton (two matches)

Sandy Park, Exeter (three matches).