It's not too late to restore our faith in our game's leaders
We would like to express our dismay at Welford Road not being listed as a venue for the Rugby World Cup 2015 group matches.
We – the Get Welford Road on the RWC Venue List Group – call on England 2015, and particularly Ross Young, to reverse the decision and include Welford Road, home of Leicester Tigers, on the final Rugby World Cup venue list.
In October 1880, a merger of three local rugby clubs saw the birth of Leicester Rugby – in 1885 a local paper reported that the resulting Tiger stripes "were keeping well together".
These humble beginnings became the foundation of the most successful and famous European rugby club in the history of the sport.
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The Welford Road Stadium, known locally as the Fortress, has seen rugby grow from being an amateur weekend sport to the professional game we know today.
The "Fortress" has consistently grown with the times to become the largest club stadium in the UK, allowing supporters from opposing teams to gather side-by-side, share banter, have a pint and enjoy watching a match together.
Ross Young, chief operating officer of England 2015 (ex-Harlequins stadium manager, operations director and general manager), delivered a blow to the very heart of English rugby by announcing that the Fortress would play no part in the Rugby World Cup 2015.
The hierarchy in charge of RWC 2015 have announced that of English club grounds, only Kingsholm, home of Gloucester, might host qualifying games and even that could easily be removed when the cut is made to produce the final list of stadiums. We believe it is shameful that in the birthplace of rugby union, those responsible for its history will not include Welford Road, our fantastic facility, as a venue.
Thus a huge opportunity is being lost to showcase the success of English clubs in the sport by including those that live and breathe rugby day in, day out.
Furthermore, the contemptuous snub handed out to great clubs is compounded by the preference for soulless concrete soccer stadiums instead.
When omitting Welford Road, Mr Young stated that the pitch did not meet the criteria set, nor did the stadium.
However, in 1991, Welford Road held qualifying matches in that year's World Cup, with attendances of more than 16,000.
In addition, Heineken Cup and Aviva Premiership matches are presently held in the stadium.
The capacity of the Fortress has now reached more than 24,000, with a new stand boasting fantastic hospitality areas. There is room to place comfortable temporary structures, if required, in the adjacent car park.
We feel our rugby sporting history has been placed in the shaky hands of suits, who have only a passing grasp of what rugby supporters want and indeed what the sport requires.
They have snatched away our sporting pride, leaving us with our heads in our hands and filled our very being with embarrassment.
Can the England 2015 Committee turn this round?
Yes, of course they can. They should at the very least make Welford Road a venue and ensure Kingsholm in Gloucester reaches the final list.
This alone will renew our confidence in the leaders of the sport we love.
Nicola Jones, Get Welford Road on the RWC Venue List Group.