With fewer than 200 days to go until the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Twickenham, event organisers can apply to be part of the Festival of Rugby 2015.

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The programme, open to any event linked to rugby, was launched last month and runs from June 10 through to the final on October 31.

More than 2,000 groups have already registered their interest in hosting or attending events, taking place during and around the tournament.

England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans said "We have been delighted with the initial response to our launch of the Festival of Rugby with over 2,000 expressions of interest from rugby clubs, schools, sports organisations, drama groups and fans.

"We are now pleased to open online applications at festivalofrugby2015.com allowing events to apply to be a part of the festival and event seekers to search for events in their area.

"Festival of Rugby 2015 is a great way for the nation to celebrate rugby in 2015."

Any events taking part in the programme will have access to the Festival of Rugby 2015 brand, event support and promotion possibilities.

People can also sign up as an "event seeker" to search for festival events nearby, from choirs to national sports centres.

RFU rugby development director Steve Grainger said: "The Festival of Rugby 2015 has got off to a great start, with very encouraging levels of interest from many different organisations and groups across the country.

"We’re all really looking forward to seeing the wide range of rugby-related activities and projects that will become part of the festival programme, demonstrating the values and many benefits of our sport.

"This is a great opportunity for thousands of people up and down the country to get involved and join our rugby family in celebrating this very special year."

Among those to express an interest in the festival are choirs, drama groups, rugby clubs, schools and colleges.

Approved events will have access to an online event toolkit, enabling organisers to create their own T-shirts, bunting, posters, leaflets and stickers as well as being promoted online.

To apply to be part of the festival, go to visit festivalofrugby2015.com.

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How the Rugby World Cup will affect you:

People can find out about plans for the Rugby World Cup at a series of community impact briefings this month.

Organised by Richmond Council, the RFU and England Rugby 2015, the events will answer questions about how the tournament will be held and plans to cause minimal disruption.

Twickenham stadium hosts 10 matches, including the opening fixture and the final, and proposals have already been made to temporarily close part of the A316 on match days.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for environment, communities and business, said: "We are very excited about hosting this international tournament.

"However, we are aware that the events will have an impact on residents, particularly those in Twickenham, Whitton, St Margarets and Richmond.

"We are working with the organisers and Transport for London to try and minimise this disruption and ensure that residents and local businesses can benefit from England 2015 too."

The St Margarets briefing no longer has space but coming up are events at Chase Bridge School in Whitton (March 5), Clarendon Hall in Twickenham (March 17) and Richmond Adult Community College (March 23).

All briefings are from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Visit richmond.gov.uk/community_information_meetings to RSVP.