The 2015 Rugby World Cup in England will kick off on the compromise date of September 19 (NZT).
In announcing the date overnight (NZT), the International Rugby Board said the date was the ''result of an exhaustive and collaborative review process which culminated in the recommendation of September 18 (local time) by tier one 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 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 four-nation 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''.
It would also mean ''minimal collective financial impact on participating unions and other major international rugby competitions''.
The final will be played on November 1 (NZT) at Twickenham in London.
- © Fairfax NZ News