RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie has labelled this year’s Rugby World Cup as the most significant event in the game’s history in this country since the sport was invented.

England, likely to be captained by Harlequins star Chris Robshaw, face Fiji in the tournament’s opening game at Twickenham stadium in less than 100 days time.

The Webb Ellis Cup was this week dispatched from rugby HQ on a tour of more than 300 events in the UK as the countdown to the start of the World Cup on September 18 gathers pace.

£200 million pounds of revenue for the RFU coffers has already been generated from the two million plus tickets already sold for the six-week tournament.

The RFU were not best prepared to grow the game in the wake of England’s 2003 triumph in Australia And Ritchie must seize the moment this time around.

“This is the biggest year in rugby since 1871, when the union was founded,” he said at the launch of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour on Wednesday.

“We need to seize the opportunity to pull people into rugby for the first time.

“We will never get a better opportunity in this country to grow the game, to get more people playing, watching and being involved in rugby.”