Ruffley to Get New Briefing on Rugby World Cup Role for Bury St Edmunds when he attends match Against Rochford on Saturday 15 March

Tuesday, 11 March, 2003

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley has thrown his weight behind the Rugby Football Union's bid to stage the 2007 Rugby World Cup and bring international rugby to the town's Southgate Green ground.

The RFU's innovative plan is for a 20-team World Cup and a simultaneous 20-team Rugby World Nations Cup for emerging countries.

Bury's The Haberden has been selected as a potential venue to host a game between two of the up-and-coming sides.

David Ruffley said: 'I am attending the match this Saturday and the pre-match lunch to hear more about this key initiative so I can further lobby the Government.'

Bury St Edmunds RFC secretary Roger Pierson said: 'We are anxiously awaiting a decision on the bid and we are extremely keen to host one of the games in this revolutionary new competition. We would be able to host a game with 6,000 people without any problem.

Graeme Cattermole, Chairman of the RFU Management Board, added: 'The fact that Bury St Edmunds has been chosen as a potential venue to host a game such as Chile versus the Cook Islands will be important to them because the club and the town will feel part of the Rugby World Cup.'

RFU chief executive Francis Baron said: 'The RWNC gives the teams taking part a fantastic platform from which to promote the game in their own country, which will provide them with exposure and commercial benefit."

The bid was delivered to the International Rugby Board on 15th January 2003 and the new ideas enhance the RFU's aim of 'Putting Rugby First'. France are also bidding for RWC 2007 and a decision is expected on April 10.