sport

England pick Pennyhill as base

England's preparations for the 2015 Rugby World Cup have been given a boost after the hosts secured Pennyhill Park as their main training base.

The Bagshot headquarters has been regularly used by England’s players as they prepare for games and head coach Stuart Lancaster hopes to use the facilities for as long as possible during the pool stages.

England might even remain at the Surrey base for all but one fixture in the whole competition, should they top Pool A and progress to the final.

But Lancaster’s men will head to Salford for their final Pool A match on October 10 at the Manchester City Stadium.

The other three pool contests will be played at Twickenham and the players can continue their normal pre-match routines.

"It's great to have Pennyhill Park as our training base," said Lancaster. "It's a place we are used to - the facilities are first-class, especially with the new training centre."

Rugby World Cup organisers have confirmed 41 training bases will be used throughout the tournament in September and October next year.

Wales have also welcomed their team base allocation, with half of their Pool A preparations taking place at their usual home The Vale Resort.

Warren Gatland's men play two of their four group matches at the Millennium Stadium, but will use London Irish’s training complex to prepare for games against Australia and England at Twickenham.

"We are very familiar with The Vale and their pedigree for hosting sporting teams is second to none," said Gatland.

"In addition the new Hazlewood complex is another great base, which really suits our needs."

Reigning world champions New Zealand will split their group phase between The Lensbury and St Mary's University in west London, the Sport Wales National Centre and Darlington Mowden Park.

Ireland will move bases between each fixture, making use of Celtic Manor in Newport, the FA's centre of excellence St George's Park, Surrey Sports Park and the Sport Wales National Centre.

Scotland will rotate between Hartpury College, where Gloucester Rugby train, Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Leeds and Newcastle Royal Grammar School.

Pennyhill Park and The Vale Resort are among the eight training bases for the tournament's knockout stages.