A Harborough district school campus has today (Tuesday) been confirmed as one of the host bases for next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Leicester Grammar School has been picked as one of the 41 team bases across the country and will be playing host to the Canadian team, which is currently ranked 17th in the International Rugby Board world ratings.
The school’s £20million campus school consists of five rugby pitches, two of which are floodlit, a 25 metre indoor swimming pool, a sports pavilion with hospitality and changing facilities, and an indoor sports complex including a fitness suite and multi-gym.
The idea behind the team bases for next year is to extend the reach of the World Cup to even more communities in England and Wales.
A total of 20 competing teams will be based across England and Wales and a range of rugby clubs, schools, universities and training centres make up the list of bases.
England Rugby 2015, the organising committee for the contest, announced the approved list of 41 team bases this morning at 9am,
The Rugby World Cup is taking place in England and in Cardiff between September 18 and October 31 next year.
All bases had to include an outdoor pitch, indoor training facility, a swimming pool, gym and lodgings and will be utilised by the teams in the lead up to and during the six-week event.
The facilities had to 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.
Leicester Grammar School’s head master Chris King, said: “I am honoured to be able to link Leicester Grammar School with Rugby Canada.
“The prospect of hosting the players and management during the preparations for their games during the World Cup is one which excites all involved here.
“My experience of meeting representatives of Rugby Canada has shown how positive they are to engage with the school, its staff and pupils and in turn we believe we can provide them with the very best training experience with our playing fields, swimming pool, indoor sports hall and weight training facilities.”
England Rugby 2015’s chief executive Debbie Jevans added: “As the organising committee, 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.”
The Canadians famously and improbably beat Wales in Cardiff in 1993, in one of Welsh rugby’s most shocking losses.
In 2011, the former Canadian player Gareth Rees was the joint-first person to be elected to the IRB Rugby Hall of Hame from outside the top-tier rugby nations.
Harborough Rugby Club and Harborough District Council submitted a joint bid to be a host base but they were left off the shortlist when it was whittled down in May.
Story by Alex Blackwell.