2015 World Cup in September?
The Rugby World Cup England is to host in 2015 will kick-off on the compromise date of September 18, rugby union's governing body, the IRB, announced on Tuesday.
The decision, the IRB said, was the "result of an exhaustive and collaborative review process which culminated in the recommendation of September 18 by Tier 1 chairmen and chief executives last week as the most suitable start date within the September-October Rugby World Cup window".
England's Rugby Football Union (RFU) had wanted a September 4 start to the sport's showcase event, but the southern hemisphere unions preferred a September 25 kick-off to minimise disruption to the Rugby Championship, the tournament that is replacing the Tri-Nations after the inclusion of Argentina.
The IRB said the September 18 date would ensure a "tournament that will continue to showcase and fund the global game (and) delivery of a financially strong and competitive tournament".
Importantly, it added that it would mean "minimal collective financial impact on participating unions and other major international rugby competitions".
"A number of dates were considered, with each proposal accompanied by detailed analysis and research," the IRB said.
"September 18 was selected to maximise collective benefits for participating unions while ensuring the best-possible sporting and financial platform for an exceptional Rugby World Cup in England that will continue to drive forward the development of the global game."
The final of the 2015 World Cup will be played on October 31 at Twickenham.