The 2015 Rugby World Cup will kick off two years today
Wales head coach Warren Gatland is predicting an exciting two years ahead as the countdown begins to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Rugby's showpiece tournament will kick-off two years today (September 18th) with eight of the competition's matches, including two quarter-finals, to be played at the Millennium Stadium.
It will be the fourth time Cardiff welcomes the Rugby World Cup to Wales after staging matches in 1991, hosting the 1999 tournament and staging four matches during the 2007 competition which was hosted by France. Wales will play two of their pool matches at the Millennium Stadium and Gatland is looking forward to welcoming the World Cup to Wales.
"It's an exciting time with the World Cup just two years away," said Gatland. "There is a lot of rugby to play before but we will be working hard in the build-up as we have some unfinished business in the competition.
"We are in a tough group alongside England and Australia but from our experiences the tougher the better as if you make it out of the group you are in a good position for the knock-out stages. It's fantastic that the Millennium Stadium has eight games and the atmosphere in Cardiff will be great and we are really excited about playing two of our pool games in front of our home supporters."
Welsh Rugby Union Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said: "The prospect of the Rugby World Cup coming back to the Millennium Stadium is great for Welsh rugby and great for Wales. Wales will have hosted RWC matches more times than any other nation in the rugby world, playing significant parts in 1991, 1999, 2007 and now hosting eight matches, including two quarter-finals, in 2015.
"As well as welcoming Wales for two fixtures, the stadium will be hosting some of the world's other top rugby nations including Australia, New Zealand, France and Ireland. This feast of rugby action will deliver a huge economic boost to Welsh rugby and Wales and allow us to showcase the very best of our nation to the rest of the world.
"It has been an extraordinary year for Welsh rugby and after the success of our Rugby World Cup 2015 bid, which was won after three years of hard work and collaboration with our friends at the Rugby Football Union."
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.