Brighton covers band the Railing Stains are shooting for global stardom after rubbing shoulders with a real-life Rolling Stone.

Jesse James Wood, the 25-year-old son of legendary Stones guitarist Ronnie, joined the band through the summer as they started recording their latest CD.

Now the group, renamed WildKatz to shake off their cover band image, are in the final stages of lining up a deal to play at next year's Rugby World Cup.

The concerts in a string of enormous arenas in Australia should guarantee a global TV audience of more than 50 million.

Singer Bob Ward said: "They're just putting the finishing touches to the deal at the moment. It's going to be amazing."

The group's road to success began in March, after three years grinding the club circuit, when the band were headhunted by celebrated producer Charlie Skarbek, who has worked with the likes of Dame Shirley Bassey and Sir Cliff Richard.

Charlie saw the five-piece band headlining at last year's Rudgwick Music Festival, near Horsham. He was so impressed he asked to watch them rehearse and signed them up for a 12-month deal, predicting they would be "enormous".

But internal tensions led to the departure of rhythm guitarist Jasper Vincent as the band set about recording their debut album in June.

Within one week, he had been replaced with Jesse James Wood.

Bob said: "We were gigging and rehearsing for three years and there were arguments as there are in any band.

"In June, the rows overtook the music. There was a heated argument and this lead to the departure of Jasper.

"I heard about Jesse James through a friend and he contacted me after I spoke to his mum, asking whether he would like to join.

"We had a meeting. He knew all about us and he came up to my house to meet the rest of the band.

"He didn't want to be treated like a son-of, he was just a mate. His dad was over the moon for him. The band was very happy and we decided to set several rehearsal dates up.

"He slotted in very well and it remained that way and we carried on rehearsals.

"We started recording the CD in September but rehearsals were becoming a problem.

"Jesse was working on his dad's album and doing gigs with his dad. He had enough on his plate to cope with, particularly with his girlfriend being pregnant, so the band decided to let him go. We all remain good friends and wish him all the luck in the world."

The brush with fame has not dented the group's image and the band are featured in the Christmas edition of society style mag Harpers And Queen.

In November, the rift healed, Jasper was back in and the group are preparing for another four-week recording session for an album due to be released in May.

"The future is looking fantastic and the chance to play at the World Cup is a brilliant end to a rocky year."

The ties with the Rolling Stones which helped launch the band's career, including a showcase slot at the 30th anniversary of guitarist Brian Jones' death, has not fully been severed and the group include a couple of old numbers on their latest CD.