The UK team list for todays Parliamentary Rugby World Cup
includes 11 Lords. But organisers are confident not a drop of blue blood will be spilled
as they take on Japan in the last of the three matches scheduled for the day.
The most pain is likely to be caused by disappointed spectators kicking themselves
because they have missed out on their chance for free tickets, says Tom Cudlip, Director
of Rugby Councils Housing and Environmental Health Department.
Tom, responsible for the Councils tourism activities, said:
"This will be a great spectacle and it will really be a pity if people go along
and find they cant get in because they havent got a ticket. We gave away 100
on Thursday morning alone. We had 1,000 tickets left by Thursday lunchtime but demand is
hotting-up and its a big risk that they wont all go before Saturday and that
some will be available on the gates. I urge everyone to pop into our new Home of Rugby
Visitor Centre in Lawrence Sheriff Street to be sure of not being disappointed."
Some 2,000 spectators are expected to flock to Rugby School to see the parliaments of
six nations vie in friendly competition. The tournament gets underway at just before 10am
when Rugby Schools first XV Captain Tony Clark boots the match ball over the
crossbar at Old Big Side the pitch where William Webb Ellis invented the game in
It will be retrieved by 10-year-old Sophie Gelsford-Hill, a pupil at Dunchurch Junior
School who captained the winning side in an inter-schools tag rugby event in Rugby earlier
She will hand the ball to the match referee who will blow his whistle at 10am for the
first match New Zealand versus Ireland. South Africa take on France in the second
match before UK meet Japan at about 1.30pm. Each match will last an hour.
As well as the sporting spectacle the crowd will be entertained to the sounds of Bilton
Silver Band. The Rugby events area sponsored by Rugby Borough Council, Gardner Merchant,
Birmingham International Airport, Rugby Chamber of Commerce, Alstom UK, Rugby Advertiser,
Shoesmiths Solicitors, James Gilbert and Rugby School.