By Gary Anderson

January 1 - Fans around the world can now start booking their travel packages to the Rugby World Cup 2015 ©Getty ImagesOrganisers of Rugby World Cup 2015 today launched the official supporter tour packages for fans getting ready to attend the event in England.

England 2015 is advising fans to book their packages early as demand for tickets is expected to be high, with more than 400,000 supporters anticipated to be travelling to the sport's showpiece event.

These first tranche of tickets for travelling fans will offer a wide range of packages based on experience and price and will be available through the 15 official travel agents in 10 territories appointed by Rugby Travel and Hospitality in November 2013.

While not all of the official travel agents will be selling packages from today, the launch marks the first stage of the ticket sales process for the public.

Hospitality packages go on sale from February 1, while England 2015 says it will make tickets available to people involved at the grassroots level of the game via the "Rugby fans through Rugby clubs" scheme in May and June.

In September of this year, the general ticket sales application process begins with any remaining tickets being made available for real-time sales in November and December 2014.

"Today's launch represents another exciting milestone for Rugby World Cup 2015 and for fans in the UK and around the world," said International Rugby Board (IRB) chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"It is particularly exciting to start what promises to be a big year for an event that will engage and inspire new fans and participants the length and breadth of the host nation and beyond."

Fans of reigning world champions New Zealand will be among some of those with the furthest distances to travel when England hosts the Rugby World Cup 2015 ©Getty ImagesFans of reigning world champions New Zealand will be among some of those with the furthest distances to travel when England hosts the Rugby World Cup 2015 ©Getty Images

The Rugby World Cup 2015 will be the eighth staging of the tournament and organisers are claiming it will be the biggest yet, with 2.3 million tickets expected to be sold for the 48 matches taking place across 13 venues from September 18 to October 31.

The official travel agents for the event include Delfos Tours and Tower Travel in Argentina, Flight Centre Australia, Gullivers Sport Travel, Qantas Holidays Ltd and Sportsnet Holidays in Australia, Japan Travel Bureau in Japan, with All Black Tours servicing New Zealand, Great Atlantic Travel in North America and SA Rugby Travel in South Africa.

Fans in Britain can book through England Rugby Travel, Club Travel will operate in Ireland with Couleur Rugby and Eventeam in France.

ATP Events will provide travel packages for fans in the rest of Europe.

"All of the OTAs (official travel agents) appointed are committed to providing the best possible service and tournament experience for rugby fans throughout the world who will travel to England in 2015," said Rugby Travel and Hospitality Limited chief executive Andrew Burton.

"With more than 400,000 supporters expected to travel to England for the tournament, fans will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of match ticket inclusive supporter tours, offering a wide range of ways to experience the tournament in 2015."

To view the range of travel packages available for Rugby World Cup 2015 click here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related Stories
November 2013: 
England 2015 reveal 2.3 million tickets will go on sale next year for Rugby World Cup
November 2013: "Innovative ideas" promised as England 2015 prepare to sell two million tickets
September 2013: 
Prime Ministers Cameron and Key mark two years to go until England 2015
eptember 2013: England 2015 Rugby World Cup set to be most commercially successful yet as two-year countdown begins
May 2013: Olympic Stadium set for role at 2015 Rugby World Cup as venues and match schedule unveiled