Rugby World Cup 2015: The Countdown is On!

There are less than 365 days to go before the biggest Rugby World Cup in history kicks off – and the excitement is building.

A whole new audience will be introduced to one of the most passionate, thrilling and compelling sports – right here on ITV.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 will be taking place across the UK – and ITV will be bringing you the crunching tackles, crucial kicks and triumphant tries as they happen.

Bhavit Chandrani, Controller of Sponsorship Sales at ITV, says: “I don't think I've been more excited since working at ITV. A Rugby World Cup, in England, we're the host broadcaster and I get to say that I work on it!"

“We're already speaking to advertisers about potentially partnering with our coverage and we're confident that come October 2015 we'll have helped to deliver some incredible, successful campaigns. The only blip I can see is whether both Wales (my team) and England qualify from the group of's going to be tense!”

2015 is set to be the biggest ever Rugby World Cup - IRB is aiming to generate £200m profit, with 2.3m tickets sold, a 4.2bn audience, and 400,000 fans at stadiums around the UK.

ITV predicts we will reach 46.3m UK individuals across the tournament. That’s 76% of the total population – and enough to fill Twickenham stadium 537 times over.  Not only that but 85% of ABC1 men will also tune in.

This year we have already delivered the biggest single peak for a TV programme, reaching 20.3m people with the England v Uruguay game in June. This is the highest peak audience since the Olympics closing ceremony.

ITV programmes have received 26.6m tweets so far this year – nearly double C4 and BBC1 combined at 14.6m, and we’ve got exciting second screen plans for the Rugby World Cup, to bring viewers closer into the coverage with Twitter Amplify and dedicated applications.

We know England 2015 is bigger than ‘just’ a rugby tournament – it’s the next in a series of national events to bond the UK together – the Royal Wedding, the Golden Jubilee, and the Olympics.  It’s going to be the biggest thing in the UK in 2015.

Rugby is returning to its roots and regions across the UK will be involved, with games taking place at Twickenham, Wembley and the Olympic Stadium in London, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Manchester City Stadium, St James’ Park in Newcastle, Elland Road in Leeds, Leicester City Stadium, Villa Park in Birmingham, Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester, stadiummk in Milton Keynes, Brighton Community Stadium and Sandy Park in Exeter. ITV’s unique presence in the regions means we’ll be able to capture the excitement around the country and bring it to life in our coverage.

Rugby is a fascinating, inclusive game, which brings people together even when on opposing teams, with a special family atmosphere at games. ITV is proud to be populist and broad – we want to bring new fans into the Rugby World Cup, and bond the nation together.

Words be: Jenny Cornish