Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson wins the line-out ball as he joins Haverstock School students on the pitch ahead of the Rugby World Cup Reuters

British politicians have been overcome by rugby fever as ministers and top MPs pose with odd shaped balls across the country. The photo-opportunities are all in aid of the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off on 18 September when England take on Fiji at Twickenham.

The competition will be officially hosted by England but Wales will also hold some of the games at the magnificent Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. New Zealand are hot favourites to retain the Webb Ellis Cup, but the home nations will hope to dethrone the All Blacks on the back of a surge in local support. With the scrum spirit sweeping the nation, IBTimes UK takes a look at what some of Britain's top politicians are saying about the contest.

David 'Dummy' Cameron

David Cameron and Martin Johnson
David Cameron posed with former World Cup winner, England captain Martin Johnson, outside Number 10 Reuters

"The Rugby World Cup will be a compelling spectacle watched by millions across the globe over the next 44 days. The tournament promises to be the best ever and it will leave a lasting legacy for the sport in our country and around the world," the prime minister said.

"The sporting drama of the coming weeks will inspire tens of thousands more people to pick up a rugby ball and play the game, and the RFU is investing millions more in clubs up and down the country, training more coaches, and reaching out to make sure rugby is played in more schools.

"The whole country will join with the cities hosting games in England and Wales to offer the warmest of welcomes to visiting teams and fans – and I wish all four Home Nations the very best of luck."

Nicola 'Sidestep' Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon
The First Minister of Scotland visited Murrayfield to give some support to Chris Paterson's team Scottish Government

"My message to the players is good luck! It was great to be able to come to Murrayfield the day before the team heads off to the World Cup on behalf of the whole country, to wish them every success. We'll all be rooting for them over the next few weeks," the SNP leader said.

"It's hugely important that Scotland is represented at such important events on the world stage. It's important for our sporting reputation but it's important for our global brand as well. The rugby team is a key and very important part of that brand as well. Of course we want to see them have success on the rugby field, but they are a brilliant team of ambassadors for Scotland."

Boris 'Bulldozer' Johnson

Boris Johnson
The bombastic Mayor of London relived his rugby school days with a Jason Robinson-esque swerve Reuters

"Hosting Rugby World Cup 2015 will be fantastic for London. Not only will it bring millions into our economy, it will add to our city's reputation as the home of world class sport," the top Tory said.

"With Twickenham, Wembley and the Olympic Stadium, London can boast some of best sporting venues anywhere on the planet, which will be packed to the rafters with fans from the UK and across the globe. We want to build on rugby's passionate and loyal following and are working with the RFU to get more Londoners involved in playing this magnificent sport."

Tim 'Fend-Off' Farron

Tim Farron
Liberal Democrat left-winger Tim Farron sends his support to the Home Nation teams Reuters

"I wish Stuart and the team all the best of luck ahead of the tournament. I would be delighted to see any of the home nations win what is sure to be a fantastic spectacle that will capture the attention of everyone across Britain in what is sure to be a great few weeks of rugby," the Liberal Democrat leader said.

Natalie 'Backrow' Bennett

Natalie Bennett
Australian born Bennett used to play on the back row – good experience for taking on media scrums Getty

Who will the Green leader by supporting? "England and Wales, with a soft spot for Scotland and Ireland, although sadly I don't have time to follow the matches or players these days. Although I always preferred playing to watching. I used to be a number right, although always a little slow for that position," Bennett said.

IBTimes UK did not receive reply to our requests for comment from Ukip or Labour at the time of publication.