Wales want to play England Rugby World Cup game in Cardiff
The Welsh Rugby Union have launched an audacious bid to stage their 2015 World Cup pool matches against host nation England and Australia at the Millennium Stadium.
All three countries were drawn together in the toughest pool of the tournament, with the likelihood that they will also be joined by Fiji as Oceania qualifiers.
The Millennium Stadium was included in England's original bid document and debate has raged as to whether Wales should be afforded home advantage for any of their major pool matches.
While England may not play all their pool matches at Twickenham, it seems inconceivable that Stuart Lancaster's men would be ordered to play against Wales in Cardiff.
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But tournament organisers England Rugby 2015 last night refused to rule out the possibility that the host nation may have to go to Cardiff for a crunch pool fixture.
WRU chief executive Roger Lewis said: "It is very important to remember that Wales was included in the England's bid for matches in the Millennium Stadium.
"What was pencilled in (for the Millennium Stadium) was eight games and the Welsh government and Cardiff city council would provide financial support to the tune of £1.4million.
"The UK treasury supported the under-writing of the competition and of course Wales is still part of the United Kingdom. We would be very welcoming hosts. The discussions will now begin.
"I think they (England) would embrace the opportunity to play in the finest rugby stadium in the world.
"I think everything must be up for discussion because it is the finest rugby stadium in the world."
ER2015 will spend the next three months piecing together the fixtures and the venues before announcing the final schedule in March. The Millennium Stadium is one of 17 venues on the long list.
"Roger has invited us, which is very kind of him. I am not going to say one way or the other," said ER2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans.
"At this point I am not ruling anything out an I am not ruling anything in.
"I understand where Roger is coming from. He is pushing for as many games as possible to be in Cardiff. I don't hold that against him.
"Now we know what the draw is we can go away and look at the appropriate venues for the appropriate matches."
The England team management can make representations but they have no input into the final decision, nor do the Rugby Football Union despite being tournament hosts.
The ER2015 board will draw up the final fixture schedule, including the final venues list, which will then be rubber-stamped by Rugby World Cup Ltd.
But red rose captain Chris Robshaw made plain his desire that England should be at Twickenham, where he led his country to a 38-21 victory over New Zealand last Saturday.
"Of course we want to be at Twickenham and have home advantage – 80,000 people shouting you on and cheering you on," Robshaw said.
"We speak about the power of the nation behind us and we definitely felt it on Saturday. If we can get to those standards it will be great."
The ER2015 announcement in March will also include confirmation of the opening fixture on September 18, which is sure to be at Twickenham.
Australia, England and Wales will be joined in Pool A by the Oceania qualifiers – strongly favoured to be Fiji – and the repechage winners. In 2011 they were Romania.
Australia are top seeds in the pool, England second while Wales were relegated to the third tier following their 14-12 defeat to the Wallabies on Saturday.
England's record against Australia at World Cups is good. They lost the 1991 final at Twickenham but beat the Wallabies in the 1995 and 2007 quarter-finals and in the final of 2003.
England and Wales have met twice in World Cups. Wales won 1987 quarter-final and England triumphed at the same stage in 2003. They are also traditional opponents in the pre-World Cup warm-ups but Lancaster indicated he would have to change England's plans.
Lancaster said: "It's a tough pool. If you look at where Wales and Australia are in terms of their development, it is quite clear that they are going to be very competitive in 2015.
"Wales we know well and Australia's track record in World Cups is impressive. It's a tough draw but exciting also.
"The hardening process will start in 2014 when we go to New Zealand – that will be tough tour with three Tests that summer.
"To get through that pool we're going to have to be consistent throughout because there won't be any easy games."
Not only is it a tough pool, it is a tough half of the draw. The runners-up in the group will probably have to play South Africa and then New Zealand to reach the final."