Rugby World Cup 2015: RFU to get £15m benefit from tournament

England fans at the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Thirteen venues in England and Wales were used during the 2015 Rugby World Cup

English rugby union's governing body will benefit by £15m from the surplus made by the 2015 World Cup.

The competition exceeded its revenue target of £250m, with around 2.47m tickets sold for the tournament.

That income covered the £80m that must be paid to World Rugby, leaving an extra £15m for the Rugby Football Union, said Stephen Brown, managing director of organiser England 2015.

"From England 2015's perspective, this had been a huge success," said Brown.

Brown said the event, which ended on Saturday with New Zealand defeating Australia 34-17 in the final, had attracted record attendances and sell-out matches, with 98% of available tickets sold.

Several football grounds were used for matches, including Newcastle's St James' Park, Aston Villa's Villa Park and Leeds United's Elland Road.

"Wembley Stadium twice broke the record for the biggest ever Rugby World Cup attendance," he added.

"Our football venues were a huge success and packed for every match."

World Rugby's chief executive Brett Gosper said England's failure to advance from the pool stage "didn't make a dent" on the success of the tournament.

"It broke every record on every metric we've got - viewing audiences, number of tickets sold, commercial values, sponsorship," Gosper told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

Gosper addressed World Rugby's decision to issue a statement declaring referee Craig Joubert was guilty of an incorrect call at the end of Scotland's quarter-final defeat to Australia.

"If there's any regret, it's the perception we threw him under a bus, which certainly wasn't the case," he added.

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