May 2 - A total of 13 venues and the match schedule for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England have been confirmed here today, with the biggest talking point being the use of the Olympic Stadium in London for four matches.
The Olympic Stadium will host the third match playoff and three pool matches, with the final due to place at Twickenham on October 31.
The majority of opening stage matches will take place at football stadiums across the nation, including Manchester City's Eastlands Stadium, Brighton and Hove Albion's Community Stadium, Leicester City Stadium, Newcastle United's St James's Park, Milton Keynes Dons' Stadium:MK, Aston Villa's Villa Park, Leeds United's Elland Road and the home of the England national team, Wembley, will all host fixtures over the course of the tournament.
The only purpose-built rugby stadiums that will be used for the World Cup are Gloucester's Kingsholm, Exeter's Sandy Park, Twickenham and the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, which will host two quarter-finals along with six pool matches.
England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans admitted the deadline for venues was extended so that the Olympic Stadium could be confirmed as a host for the 2015 World Cup, and assured that the arena would be in good order despite the fact it will be under-renovation for Premier League side West Ham United to move into in time for the 2016-2017.
"The roof will be in place, we've got a detailed plan of the pitch, and that's a programme that's in place" she said.
"In itself it's opening very soon, and we see it as a destination and an opportunity, and it won't be a building site."
England are confirmed to face Wales and Australia at Twickenham in Pool A and will also face the winners of the Oceania qualification tournament at their home stadium in the opening fixture on September 18, 2015.
The hosts will only play one game away from Twickenham in the pools, when they meet one of the play-off winners at Manchester City's Eastlands Stadium on October 10.
In attendance was International Rugby Board (IRB) chairman Bernard Lappaset, alongside the likes of Lawrence Dallaglio, a member of England's team that won the World Cup in 2003, and delegates from Rugby World Cup Limited and England Rugby 2015.
"The delivery of the match schedule and match venues in collaboration with England Rugby 2015 is an important milestone in what promises to be a spectacular World Cup" said Lappaset.
"Through this rigorous process we have been able to develop solid foundations for the best tournament experience for all participating teams, the host nation and the global rugby community
"We have also worked hard with all stakeholders to deliver a match schedule that is fair and balanced for all teams and that will provide the stage for the world's finest players from 20 nations to perform to the best of their ability during a six week festival of world class rugby."
Dallaglio, part of England's successful bid team for the 2015 World Cup and is one of the ambassadors for the tournament, said: "I'm sure everyone is very proud to be part of England 2015, the vision for the tournament is exciting and inspiring.
"This is a tournament about rugby and its values and rugby is unique and has so much to offer.
"I want the country to be talking about rugby more than ever before"
"We will endeavour to be great and warm hosts for 2015.
"The countdown has well and truly begun"
Tickets for the 2015 Rugby World Cup are due go on sale next year, with ticket prices due to be announced later this year.
To view the full match schedule, click here.
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October 2012: Olympic Stadium shortlisted for England 2015 Rugby World Cup