Tower of London and Hampton Court primed for RWC welcome ceremonies

The Tower of London will welcome the All Blacks (iStock)
The Tower of London will welcome the All Blacks (iStock)

Historic venues including the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace have been selected to host international rugby teams at Rugby World Cup (RWC) welcome ceremonies from 10 to 21 September.

In total, 17 landmarks across England and Wales will host teams arriving to the country ahead of the international tournament. The ceremonies promise to be a celebration of the teams' achievements and will involve players friends and family, as well as the local community.

The events will signify an official welcome to England and Wales for the teams and feature the presentation of tournament caps and RWC 2015 participation medals. These will be distributed by 16 to 24 year olds from local clubs and educational institutes to represent the legacy of the tournament.

There will also be 1,000 people representing grassroots rugby clubs invited to attend the ceremonies, while each ceremony will feature a performance of the official Rugby World Cup anthem, World in Union, sung by school choirs chosen following a selection process.

Steve Brown, managing director of England Rugby 2015, said: "We are delighted to have secured these fantastic venues to host our welcome ceremonies for the teams. These landmark locations from across England and Wales broaden the reach of the tournament and will be great settings for us to welcome the players and management.

"These events will be a celebration of the team's achievements, alongside a warm local welcome as the 20 best teams arrive for Rugby World Cup 2015."

The welcome ceremonies will take place on the following dates:

  • 10 September – Fiji - Hampton Court Palace
  • 11 September – New Zealand - Tower of London
  • 11 September – Samoa - Brighton Dome
  • 11 September – Japan - Brighton Dome
  • 12 September – England - Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
  • 12 September – Tonga - Cheltenham Town Hall
  • 13 September – South Africa - Eastbourne Bandstand
  • 13 September – USA - HM Naval Base Portsmouth
  • 14 September – France - Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
  • 14 September – Argentina - Haileybury, Hertfordshire
  • 14 September – Italy - Hampton Court Palace
  • 14 September – Georgia - St George's, Bristol
  • 14 September – Uruguay - Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff
  • 15 September – Australia - Assembly Rooms in Bath
  • 15 September – Canada - Brangwyn Hall, Swansea
  • 17 September – Romania - Christ Church Spitalfields, London
  • 17 September – Scotland - Gloucester Cathedral
  • 17 September – Namibia - Hampton Court Palace
  • 21 September – Ireland - Burton Town Hall
  • 21 September – Wales - Guildhall, London

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