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06//03/02.Considerable progress has been made between RWC and the Australian Rugby Union since the signing of the Host Union Agreement last December. However, the Sub Host Union Agreement between the ARU and the NZRFU has not yet been concluded.

Among the outstanding matters in the Sub Host Union Agreement is the proposal to play the final stages of New Zealand's National Provincial Championship matches during the early part of the RWC 2003 Tournament.

There also remain some unresolved issues relating to the venues.

Vernon Pugh QC, Chairman of the International Rugby Board and Rugby World Cup said: "We remain very hopeful that all this will be satisfactorily concluded in the near future. However, until we are in a position to announce with certainty the full details of the schedule, it is considered inappropriate to make any official announcement. Once all the necessary contractual agreements are in place and RWC is confident that the obligations set out in the agreements will be fulfilled then the Schedule will be announced."

"It is regrettable that circumstances dictate that next weeks launch has had to be postponed, especially as in other respects the planning and organisation are so well advanced. However, RWC is committed to ensuring the success of the 2003 Tournament, both as a great rugby event and one which is commercially successful, so as to benefit the future development of the game worldwide."

John O'Neill CEO of the Australian Rugby Union also expressed disappointment at the postponement, and added: "We are absolutely confident that we will deliver the best RWC ever, and that the present delay will not change that."

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20 June 2018
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