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Venues Confirmed For Latter Stages Of 2011 World Cup

Venues Confirmed For Latter Stages Of 2011 World Cup

Christchurch and Wellington will each host two quarter-final matches during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, while Eden Park in Auckland will host the tournament’s bronze final, it was announced on Thursday.

Rugby New Zealand (RNZ) 2011 CEO Martin Snedden revealed the decision at a function in Wellington attended by representatives from each of the regions.

It follows the first stage of a match and team allocation process which saw applications to host quarter-final matches lodged by the Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington regions, and applications to host the bronze final match by Auckland and Hamilton.

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Snedden said: “Each region has shown a strong desire to help us deliver a world class tournament and also to deliver a memorable national Rugby World Cup festival which realises our ‘stadium of four million’ philosophy and which carries with it a uniquely Kiwi flavour.

“This decision gives fans in the Wellington and Christchurch regions something really special to look forward to in 2011. The quarter-final weekends in both cities will be tremendous sporting and festival occasions.”

In addition to announcing the quarter-final match allocations, Snedden also confirmed that agreements had now been concluded with the Auckland region and with the Eden Park Trust Board for Eden Park to host the semi-finals and the Rugby World Cup final, as previously indicated.

As a result of today’s announcement, Eden Park and the Auckland region will now host the last four games of the tournament – both semi-finals, the bronze final and the final itself.

The decisions announced today were unchanged from those recommended by the Board of RNZ 2011 Ltd and ratified by the Board of Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) which met in Dublin on Wednesday.

RWCL chairman Bernard Lapasset said RWCL is delighted to endorse RNZ 2011’s recommendation for the quarter-finals to be staged in Christchurch and Wellington and for the bronze final to be staged at Auckland’s Eden Park.

“Our experience tells us that for the integrity of the tournament, in terms of planning and management, the best option is two venues for the quarter-finals,” Lapasset explained.

“It means there is clarity for travelling supporters in terms of their ticket purchase options in advance of the tournament and it greatly assists team logistics and travel planning for the knock-out stages.

“Wellington and Christchurch are renowned international rugby venues and we are confident these cities and their surrounding regions will be great hosts for these important matches. The same is true for Auckland and having the bronze final in the same city just days before the final is also a tried and tested formula.”

The four quarter-finals will be played on the weekend of October 7, 8 and 9, 2011. The semi-finals will be played on the weekend of October 15 and 16.

The bronze final will be staged one or two days prior to the final, which is scheduled to be played on ‘Labour Weekend’ (October 21-23) 2011.

The decision to award the quarter-finals to two cities is similar to the structure used at RWC 2003, when the equivalent stage of knock-out matches was hosted by Melbourne and Brisbane. For RWC 2007, two of the quarter-finals were held in Marseilles, while Paris and Cardiff hosted one quarter-final each.

“We understood RWCL’s preference to host the quarter-finals in only two venues, as that is far easier an operational and paying spectator’s standpoint,” Snedden added.

“The proposals put to us supported that proposition and, as a result, we were able to make it work for the 2011 tournament.

“At the same time, we were greatly impressed with all of the proposals including those from the Hamilton region for the bronze final and from North Harbour Stadium, which was one of two options in the Auckland region’s bid to host the bronze final.

“We can appreciate that there will be disappointment. However we are encouraging all regions to focus on the opportunities that are coming up in the pool match and team base allocations ahead.

“The quarter-finals and bronze final allocation announcement is only the beginning of the process.”

Submissions for pool matches and to host teams will be required by October 31 with decisions on pool venues scheduled to be announced in March or April 2009 and team bases in late 2009.