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SBD Global/October 22, 2012/Facilities

MP Jon Ashworth Calls For An Examption For Welford Road As A Potential Venue For Rugby WC

Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth "has called for the Int'l Rugby Board to clarify its regulations regarding pitch sizes for the 2015 World Cup after branding the decision to omit Welford Road from the list of potential venues as 'ridiculous' in the House of Commons," according to Gavin Mairs of the London TELEGRAPH. Ashworth also spoke with England Rugby 2015 officials on Thursday to "raise his concerns over the decision to axed the Leicester Tigers’ stadium from the longlist of venues because its pitch was deemed too small." Ashworth said that he "wants the IRB to state whether the pitch size criterion is based on the laws of the game." If it is, Welford Road should be reinstated as a potential venue because of its "iconic status" in English rugby. Ashworth said, "I am going to write to the IRB to clarify the regulations on pitch sizes and ask them to consider an exemption for Welford Road." Ian McGeechan, the man jointly-tasked with leading a performance review of England elite rugby, "has called for regulation to be scrapped from the Aviva Premiership for five years." McGeechan said, "If you want club rugby to be the best business then you give it time as a business to establish itself" (TELEGRAPH, 10/18).
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