Edinburgh Counts Down - 100 Days Until Rugby World Cup

France 2007, the organisers of this year's Rugby World Cup, held a press conference in the heart of the Scottish capital today to update Scotland on their preparations for what is the third largest international sporting event. This week marks the 100 days landmark before the Rugby World Cup gets under way in France, with Murrayfield and the Millennium Stadium each hosting two games.France 2007, the organisers of this year's Rugby World Cup, held a press conference in the heart of the Scottish capital today to update Scotland on their preparations for what is the third largest international sporting event.

This week marks the 100 days landmark before the Rugby World Cup gets under way in France, with Murrayfield and the Millennium Stadium each hosting two games.

The French organisers released 210,000 additional tickets for sale on thursday and Etienne Thobois, Chief Executive of France 2007 disclosed at a press conference on friday in the City of Edinburgh Council Chambers that 70,000 of those tickets had already been sold by this morning.

Scottish Rugby is supporting France 2007 in its preparations to hold the two World Cup games at Murrayfield against Romania. (18 September) and New Zealand (23 September) The national governing body is also working closely with other partners such as the City of Edinburgh Council, Event Scotland, Visit Scotland and SEEL to promote Scotland's Summer of Rugby, which begins this weekend (2-3 June) with the climax of the IRB Sevens World Series - the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s.

Underlining the enormity of the Rugby World Cup as a major sporting event, Etienne Thobois said, "This is a World Cup - thee top event for rugby. 2007 will create a legacy for the development of the sport and enhance the popularity of the game. Rugby is a special sport and we expect to have a great fesitval.

"Four billion television viewers worldwide are anticipated and we are all in the starting blocks. We put 210,000 additional tickets on sale yesterday and by this morning we had already sold 70,000 of them, which shows there is a great appetite for the event."

The stadium capacity for the World Cup will be 65,000, slightly less than usual because of advertising requirements. France 2007 set the ticket prices for the Romania and New Zealand games against Scotland at Murrayfield. The price range for the two matches at Murrayfield range from ?£9* - ?£43* for the Romania game and ?£38* - ?£164* for the New Zealand game (* = subject to availability). M Thobois disclosed that 80% of the stadium seating has been sold for the Scotland v New Zealand match so far and 25% for Scotland v Romania. He added,

"Prices are reasonable over the whole World Cup. We have a few matches that are quite expensive but that allows most of the other matches to be set quite low. 25% of tickets will be less than 20 Euros. As regards the Romania game at Murrayfield there's still plenty of time to market it so we'll see. I'm confident those sales will improve dramatically."

Gordon McKie, Chief Executive of Scottish Rugby commented, "We're really excited at the prospect of hosting the two World Cup games here at Murrayfield. It is the climax of Scotland's Summer of Rugby which begins this weekend with the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s, the Bank of Scotland Corporate August Tests against Ireland and South Africa and then the World Cup games against Romania and New Zealand.

"These World Cup pool games allow the Scotland team to have the benefit of playing in the World Cup in front of our home crowd. This is important for the players and coach Frank Hadden and we hope the Scottish public will get behind their team and back Scotland in Scotland. I am particularly encouraged by the close partnership between Scottish Rugby and the City of Edinburgh Council, Event Scotland, SEEL and Visit Scotland to make these events a success in the capital.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Deputy Convenor and Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council said, "Edinburgh is no stranger to having big events in the city and we will ensure all visitors are very welcome. The World Cup games take place after the Edinburgh Festival and it will be fantastic to have this Sporting festival. We plan to dress the city, there will be a Rugby "Village", big TV screens in town, themes of French and Scottish food and drink in the city and much more. It will be a great opportunity to showcase these games and we would like to thank the organisers for allowing Scotland to host them."

The Webb Ellis Cup, the actual World Cup, was on display at Friday's Edinburgh press conference and will be at the Emirates Airline Edinburgh 7s.