Exeter's Sandy Park on 2015 Rugby World Cup shortlist

Exeter's Sandy Park has been added to the list of potential venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The ground has been added as redevelopment work on Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium may not be completed in time for the event.

Sandy Park is only the fourth rugby venue on the list of 18 stadiums after Gloucester's Kingsholm, Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium.

The ground's capacity will rise to 12,000 in time for the tournament.

Sandy Park currently has a capacity of 10,700 but Exeter have been given permission to expand the ground up to 20,000.

Prospective 2015 Rugby World Cup venues

  • Amex Stadium, Brighton
  • Ashton Gate, Bristol
  • Pride Park, Derby
  • Ricoh Arena, Coventry
  • Elland Road, Leeds
  • Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
  • King Power Stadium, Leicester
  • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • St James's Park, Newcastle
  • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • St Mary's Stadium, Southampton
  • Wembley, London
  • Olympic Stadium, London
  • Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
  • Twickenham, London
  • Kingsholm, Gloucester
  • Sandy Park, Exeter

"We want to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2015 is a truly national event, and Sandy Park, located in the rugby heartland of the south west, gives us the option to take the tournament as far and wide as possible," said England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans.

"I would like to thank Tony Rowe, chairman and chief executive of Exeter Chiefs, and Exeter City Council for their support over the last few weeks as we went through the process of adding Sandy Park to the long list.

"We are finalising venues and the match schedule in conjunction with Rugby World Cup Limited and will publish the final list in the next few weeks."

Exeter were promoted to the Premiership in 2010 and moved to Sandy Park in 2006 having played at their old County Ground home for 101 years.

Exeter chief executive Tony Rowe feels the event will benefit the whole of the south west of England.

"This announcement is exciting news not just for rugby followers, but for everyone living within the region," he said.

"We have been working incredibly closely with Exeter City Council in submitting a bid we hope will bring so much to so many people.

"Our hope now is that we will be among the venues that will be selected for what I know will be a superb Rugby World Cup here in England in 2015."

The final list of between 10 and 12 venues is set to be finalised later this year.