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Decision on Christchurch's Hosting of Rugby World Cup 2011 Matches Underline 16 March, 2011 • Stadium Christchurch requires extensive repairs, timeframes uncertain 

• Quarter finals reallocated to Eden Park 

• Pool matches to be reallocated to other RWC 2011 venues 

• Existing ticket holders to be offered refund or tickets to reallocated matches 

Rugby World Cup 2011 Tournament partners have today reluctantly decided that Christchurch will be unable to host the seven matches scheduled to be played at Stadium Christchurch and these will be rescheduled to be played at other venues in New Zealand. 

The decision was unanimously supported by Tournament owners the International Rugby Board, the New Zealand Government, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and Tournament organiser Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011). 

This follows a detailed review of reports assessing damage to key Tournament facilities and infrastructure caused by the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the city on February 22 and advice from the stadium operator, Vbase, that it could not be certain that all necessary remedial work could be completed in time for RWC 2011.

International Rugby Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset travelled to Christchurch for today’s announcement. 

“Yesterday we were informed by Stadium Christchurch operator Vbase that it could not guarantee that the extensive repairs required could be completed in time. That information, coupled with a thorough review of every aspect of hosting RWC 2011 in the city, means that Tournament partners have been left with no choice but to make the difficult decision to reallocate the seven matches due to be played in Christchurch,” said Lapasset. 

“This has been a hard decision for all involved, given the place of Canterbury in New Zealand Rugby and the tremendous enthusiasm and support that the people of Christchurch have displayed for RWC 2011. The thoughts of the global Rugby family continue to be with the people of Christchurch and everyone affected as they focus on the city’s rebuilding process and repair of key public services and facilities.” 

Ticket holders for all Christchurch matches will be offered the option of a refund or the opportunity to secure tickets to the reallocated matches. RNZ 2011 has confirmed there will be sufficient availability of tickets for those wanting to take up that option. Full details will be provided by March 30. For further ticketing information please click here. 

Vbase has indicated that the repair timeframes are so tight there would be no leeway for work delays or for any risks that would impact timelines. This prevents Vbase giving assurances that it can meet its RWC 2011 obligations. 

Among the risks identified by Vbase: 

• Ongoing investigation required that might reveal the need for further work in relation to structures and playing surface 

• Complexity of a work programme that includes superficial and structural repairs and full replacement of the playing surface 

• Availability of resources (labour, material and equipment) and timeliness of securing consents 

• Aftershocks that might impact on the work programme 

“We know Cantabrians are passionate about Rugby and we know that many wanted the matches to remain as a way to unite and heal their shattered city,” said RNZ 2011 Chairman Brian Roche. 

“However, we needed to weigh up the risks of continuing with matches in Christchurch with just 25 weeks until the world’s third largest sporting event kicks off. Sadly, we collectively agreed the risks were too great. The timeframes for repairs were too tight, the uncertainty too much.” 

NZRU CEO and RNZ 2011 director Steve Tew added: “Our hearts go out to Canterbury fans today given the inevitable disappointment this decision will cause for many.” 

“Tournament partners are looking into a number of initiatives that will give Cantabrians a chance to be part of our Stadium of Four Million. We still want them to play a part in hosting a successful Tournament and to share in the excitement of this event.” 

Contingency planning is at an advanced stage, but the process of allocation of matches is complex with many factors to consider, including accommodation, transport and broadcast logistics.
Eden Park is confirmed as the venue for the quarter finals of October 8 and 9 and a decision regarding where the five Pool matches will now be played will be taken jointly by the Tournament’s partners as soon as feasibly possible, likely before the end of March. 

“Eden Park was the only logical alternative to stage two of the Tournament’s premier matches given the ground capacity and visitor accommodation demands associated with these quarter final matches,” said RNZ 2011 CEO Martin Snedden. 

“We are working hard to ensure as many pool matches as reasonably possible remain in the South Island. A key consideration in all of this is to reschedule matches in a way that minimises the impact on other matches and therefore causes the least disruption to existing arrangements for teams and travelling." 

“We appreciate this is a time of great uncertainty for fans which is why we are trying to resolve all issues as quickly as possible. We expect to be in a position to announce where the five matches will be played within two weeks." 

“We are enormously grateful for the support of all our partners in New Zealand during this difficult process and the cooperation that has been shown as we work together to resolve this situation.” 

Further Information:

Dominic Rumbles, IRB Head of Communications, +353 868 520 826, email dominic.rumbles@irb.com



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Digicel Cup Rd 4 Team Lists 25 March, 2011 
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PRC team lists - Fiji Warriors v Samoa A 21 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Round Three Results 20 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Round 3 Tables 20 March, 2011 
Warriors keep PRC title chances alive 19 March, 2011 
Bolakoro in top form and Nadolo and the beer truck 17 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 3 Team Lists 17 March, 2011 
Experienced squad heads for Hong Kong 16 March, 2011 
Decision on Christchurch's Hosting of Rugby World Cup 2011 Matches 16 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 3 Team Lists - Nadroga v Macuata 16 March, 2011 
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2011 Digicel Cup Round 2 Tables 13 March, 2011 
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Digicel Cup Round Two Results 12 March, 2011 
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Digicel Cup Rd 2 Team Lists - Nadi, Naitasiri and Navosa 11 March, 2011 
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Tailevu 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Naitasiri 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Nadroga 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Nadi 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Ovalau 2011 Squad List 10 March, 2011 
Rewa 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Northland Squad 2011 Lists 10 March, 2011 
Navosa 2011 Squad List 10 March, 2011 
Tavua 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Suva 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Player indiscipline to be addressed 09 March, 2011 
Macuata 2011 Squad List 09 March, 2011 
Lautoka 2011 Squad Lists 09 March, 2011 
IRB Statement Regarding the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union 08 March, 2011 
Players suspended 08 March, 2011 
Remington signs with Fiji Rugby 08 March, 2011 
Tonawai and Natua to join 7s camp 08 March, 2011 
Cakau and Kolinisau prepare for Hong Kong 07 March, 2011 
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Digicel Cup - Rd 1 round-up 07 March, 2011 
Brothers start for Warriors 07 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 1 Tables 07 March, 2011 
Round One Table - U20s 07 March, 2011 
New Zealand sides too good in PRC 05 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Round One Results 05 March, 2011 
Naitasiri beats Nadroga in Digicel Cup opener 04 March, 2011 
Domoni named in Warriors starting XV 03 March, 2011 
Naitasiri stands down Tonawai 03 March, 2011 
Top teams clash in Digicel Cup opener 02 March, 2011 
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Warriors surrender unbeaten record 01 March, 2011 
Rugby family unites to support Christchurch 01 March, 2011 
La Vie Francaise - Fijian Style 01 March, 2011 
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