Warburton and Lewsey help to find 'The Pack' for RWC 2015
14 August 2014 11:10am
By Gemma James
England 2015 have been recruiting volunteers for next year's Rugby World Cup
Wales captain Sam Warburton and WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey joined volunteers from rugby clubs around Wales to launch the fifth leg of the Try Outs, the volunteer selection events which will find the 6000 members of 'The Pack' for Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC 2015), at the Millennium Stadium this week.
The volunteer selection process is an exciting and informative experience where potential members of 'The Pack' will find out more about RWC 2015 and take part in a one-to-one interview. The Try Outs include an exhibition space dedicated to the history of Rugby, a motivational video for would-be volunteers and a real-life changing room to try kit on for size, complete with vintage Rugby sweaters and an authentic heat spray 'scent'.
Warburton, who captained Wales to the semi-final of Rugby World Cup 2011, and Rugby World Cup 2003 winner Lewsey, joined volunteers from across Wales for the Cardiff leg of the Try Outs at the home of Welsh sport which will host eight games during the Tournament next year.
Warburton said: "Competing in Rugby World Cup 2011, I experienced first-hand the incredible role volunteers play in making the Tournament the spectacle that it is. Volunteers really are the face of Rugby World Cup and 'The Pack' will play an integral part in Rugby World Cup 2015, welcoming the world to the game and the venues across the country."
Lewsey added: "The number and spectrum, of people attending the Cardiff Try Outs over the past two weeks is testament to the sport's appeal in the region and the excitement ahead of the Rugby World Cup. Volunteers are the backbone of Welsh rugby and therefore it is fitting that they'll be the ones rewarded with the opportunity to play a key role in the delivery of Rugby World Cup 2015 games in Cardiff.
"In addition the WRU are conscious of the constant need to support the volunteers across Wales and as such we are looking to improve our communication and support activities over the coming months in order to do so. With eight matches set to take place at Millennium Stadium, there'll be a huge buzz and excitement in the build up to the Tournament and it is important we use it as catalyst to maximise the infrastructure of the game in Wales for the long term."
As part of the selection process, potential members of 'The Pack' are asked questions based on the values of the Game along with questions on suitability for the role that volunteers are being considered for in 2015. There will be a range of roles throughout the lead up and delivery of the Tournament but they will mainly be focused on transport and spectator services. There will be a small number of specialist roles including roles in media operations, accreditation and workforce operations.
Debbie Jevans, Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, said: "'The Pack' will welcome the world to England, Cardiff and Rugby World Cup 2015. We're extremely thankful to all those who have volunteered their time to take part in the process, both in Cardiff over the past two weeks and at the events in all of our host cities throughout the year. We have had a fantastic level of interest and applications for the programme which shows the great level of enthusiasm and excitement for volunteering and for the Tournament.
"These are interactive events which give prospective members of 'The Pack' the opportunity to learn about the Tournament, their potential roles and the wider game of Rugby and its values. The feedback from participants has been extremely positive and so we only hope that this enthusiasm and excitement continues to grow as we continue our search to recruit 'The Pack' who will make RWC 2015 truly special."
20,000 people applied to be members of 'The Pack' and 10,000 people will be invited to attend the Try Outs to select the 6,000 people who will help welcome the world to England and Wales for the Tournament. The Try Outs, which began in June this year, will run until December 2014 in every Rugby World Cup 2015 host city.
In line with the Tournament vision to have Rugby at the heart , 75% of 'The Pack' will come from the Rugby Community who help run the game week in, week out. The rest will come from the general public, an opportunity to bring new people into Rugby. People who have been successful in being selected to be part of 'The Pack' will be notified in early 2015.
To date, Try Outs have taken place in The Home of Saracens Rugby, Allianz Park, Leyton Orient FC's Score Centre, The University of Brighton and The University of Exeter. The Cardiff Try Outs run from Friday August 1 to Friday August 15 at the Millennium Stadium.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.