Here's a run down of the major sporting events to look out for this month.
The main sporting event of the month without a doubt is the Rugby World Cup, being staged right here in England. The tournament sees England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales all in action along with 16 other countries all trying to win the greatest prize within their sport.
Hopes are high amongst the English fans that they can triumph on home soil, and lift the trophy they held in 2003, in what was English rugby’s greatest moment.
If they are to do this however they will have to come through a tough group that includes Australia, Wales, Fiji, and Uruguay. Scotland meanwhile are grouped with South Africa, Samoa, Japan, and the USA, and Ireland are matched against France, Italy, Canada, and Romania. There will be some relief however that none of the home nations have drawn the reigning Champions New Zealand, as the final group features them, Argentina, Tonga, Georgia, and Namibia.
As mentioned the last tournament held in 2011 was won by (the host nation – take note England) the All Blacks, who defeated France 8-7 in the lowest scoring final of all time.
The event gets underway on 18th September, and runs until the 31st October, and will be played around 13 stadiums throughout the country, including Newcastle.
Moving onto football and hot off last week’s Champions League draw September sees the first 2 round of games.
Group B sees Manchester United return to the Champions League and take on Dutch Champions PSV Eindhoven (away Sept 15th), German cup winners and league runners up Wolfsburg (home Sept 30th), and Russian league runners up CSKA Moscow. The ties against PSV will see an immediate return for United’s £25 million signing Memphis to the club he left.
Group D again sees a tough draw for the other Manchester club as they are paired with last year’s runners up, and current Italian champions Juventus (home Sept 15th), Germans Borussia Monchengladbach (away Sept 30th), and Spanish side Sevilla who qualified for this year tournament by winning last season’s Europa League.
Arsenal should proceed from Group F despite being drawn against the German giants Bayern Munich, whom have knocked the gunners out of the tournament in 2 of the last 3 years. They also have to play Croatians champions Dinamo Zagreb (away Sept 16th), and Greek champions Olympoakos (home Sept 30th).
And finally group G sees Chelsea take on Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv (home Sept 16th), Portuguese runners up Porto (away Sept 29th), and Ukrainian champs Dinamo Kiev. It is a group that The Blues shouldn’t just progress from, but win, and will see manager Jose Mourinho return again to his former club Porto that he won both the UEFA Cup and Champions League in consecutive seasons.
In the Europa League we will see the first group stage matches on the 17th September, and we are set for some great matches. Celtic have drawn Ajax, Fenerbache, and Molde in Group A. Group B features Liverpool, Rubin Kazan, Bordeaux, and Sion, and Tottenham have Anderlecht, Monaco, and Qarabag in Group J.
Coming off the great Ashes series win morale should be high not just in the England cricket team, but also the fans ahead of the 5 games One Day series against Australia. With matches at The Ageas Bowl (3rd Sept), Lords (5th Sept), Old Trafford (8th Sept), Headingley (11th Sept), and Old Trafford again (13th Sept) Alastair Cook and his team have a great opportunity to end the summer in style.
Staying in the UK, and with World Athletics Championships still fresh in our mind the North East is the setting for the Great North Run. The 35th running (no pun intended) of the charity event on Sunday 13th will no doubt attract thousands upon thousands of fans, as it always does.
Fresh from his gold in Beijing, and barring injury Mo Farah should be back to defend his crown he won last year.
The event is the biggest road race in the UK with the 1 millionth winner crossing the line last year.
Over in the US we see the start of what is one of the biggest sporting events in the World, as the NFL season kick offs. The first match in the early hours of Friday 11th (actually the 10th in America) sees the reigning Champions the New England Patriots take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And if there was any doubting the popularity of the sport to compare it to our Premier League which had an average attendance 36,175 last season compared to the NFL average of 68.331.
Now ok the popularity of the Premier League is bigger on a global scale, but the NFL is rapidly becoming a worldwide franchise – none more so than here in the UK which will for the second season in a row host 3 NFL games at Wembley stadium.
The season culminates in Super Bowl 50at the Levi Stadium in Santa Clara on February 7th next year.
Staying in the US in the UFC the Flyweight Title is on the line as Demetrious ‘Might Mouse’ Johnson takes on John ‘The Magician’ Dodson at UFC 191 in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 5th.
This will be the second meeting between the two as they previously clashed back in January 2013 when Johnson defended his title with a 5 round unanimous decision. That defeat has been Dodson’s only defeat in his last 9 fights. Johnson on the other hand has already defended his title on 6 previous occasions.
Also in the world of martial arts it is the British Taekwondo National Championships. The event will be staged on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September 2015 at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
And whilst the cycling bug shows no sign of letting up it is also the Tour Of Britain event from the 6-13th September, which starts in Anglesey and takes in Colne, Edinburgh, Blyth, Stoke, Fakenham and Ipswich before ending in London.
Finally moving from 2 wheels to 4 September sees a major month in Formula One as there’s rounds 12, 13, and 14 of the World Championship, as the teams head off to Monza (Italy), Marina Bay (Singapore), and Suzuka (Japan).
August saw just the one race as Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag in Spa, Belgium for his 6 victory of the season which extended his lead over his team mate Nico Rosberg to 28 points.