The University of Exeter has an excellent reputation for supporting talented student rugby players.

University of Exeter moves to the next phase of Team Base selection for Rugby World Cup 2015.

Following the strong response to Rugby World Cup 2015’s Team Base tender process, with over 80 applications received from over 30 English counties and within Wales, England Rugby 2015 has moved into the next phase of the Team Base selection programme by confirming an 'approved list' of bases.

The University of Exeter Sports Park has been named on the list as part of a bid which includes pitches and high performance training facilities.  After months of detailed site visits and meetings with tender applicants, 65 bases have been named on an approved list, meeting the criteria to host the 20 teams that will compete in the six week tournament.

Bases on the approved list are not guaranteed to host teams; however they will be used to provide the competing nations with their Team Base options, many of which are currently undertaking visits of prospective bases.

The University of Exeter has long been a hot-bed for developing young rugby players. In recent years the institution has seen two of its women receive England caps and a number of players join Premier League side Exeter Chiefs.

A Team Base must include an indoor and outdoor training facility, a gym, an indoor swimming pool and a hotel.  These facilities must meet international team training standards and be located in close proximity of one another. Match Venue location has also been taken into account.

Based only a few miles from the Chiefs’ Stadium Sandy Park, set to host three Rugby World Cup 2015 matches, the selection comes at the end of an £8.1million investment at the Sports Park, which has included the creation of a dedicated Athlete Development Centre to provide strength and conditioning support to performance athletes.

England Rugby 2015 requires up to 50 bases for use during the tournament. These will be confirmed mid-2014 following completion of team visits and selection.

Director of Rugby Keith Fleming is confident that the University would provide the best possible training venue for any team who might choose to visit.

He said: “At the University of Exeter we are passionate about rugby and have a strong rugby heritage. Being selected as an approved site for the biggest rugby tournament in the World is a huge honour and we feel ready to support any team that might wish to use our facilities.

“We’re no strangers to training international rugby players, so I have no doubt that we would be able to accommodate visiting teams with all of the pitches, strength and conditioning, and rehabilitation facilities that they will need to be at their best on match day.”

England Rugby 2015 CEO, Debbie Jevans, said: "Since launching the Team Base selection process there has been strong support for the tournament right across England and Wales with over 80 applications made to host teams in 2015. I would like to thank all those who applied and who have met with us in recent months; these visits have been integral to the process and have shown the great enthusiasm for Rugby World Cup 2015.

“We are fortunate to have such a great number of excellent facilities available to host the teams in 2015 and we are pleased to have a good range including rugby clubs, colleges, universities, schools and training centres on the approved list. Rugby is at the heart of all our planning and it is vital that, in our role as the Organising Committee, we do all we can to ensure that we get the conditions absolutely right for the players to prepare for the game’s premier event. We will continue to work with the team mangers and look forward to confirming the final list of Team Bases by the middle of this year.”

Date: 4 February 2014

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