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The 2011 Rugby World Cup will be the seventh Rugby World Cup. At a meeting of the International Rugby Board (IRB) held in Dublinmarker on 17 November 2005, New Zealandmarker was selected as the host country in preference to Japanmarker and South Africa. There were two rounds of voting by the IRB Council to decide the host nation, with South Africa eliminated in the first round.

The event is expected to cost about NZ$310.0 million to run and will generate NZ$280 million in ticket sales. It will be the largest sporting event ever held in New Zealand, eclipsing the 1987 Rugby World Cup, 1990 Commonwealth Games, 1992 Cricket World Cup, 2003 America's Cup and 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand. Around 70,000 visitors from overseas are expected to travel to New Zealand for the associated games and events.

The event is scheduled to be played over seven weekends from the weekend starting 10 September and culminating the weekend starting 22 October 2011. The weekend of the final was chosen so it falls on a long weekend caused by the New Zealand public holiday of Labour Day (Monday, 24 October 2011). The final is scheduled to be played in Aucklandmarker at Eden Parkmarker.

As of 19 February 2008, New Zealand's progress in preparing and implementing plans for the event received an A+ rating from the International Rugby Board's chairman and chief executive.

After months of speculation that the number of participating teams would be reduced to 16, the IRB announced on Friday, 30 November 2007 that the 2011 tournament would again feature 20 teams. Twelve teams qualified as a result of finishing in the top three in each pool in the 2007 tournament. The remaining eight berths will be determined by regional qualifying tournaments.

Bids

New Zealandmarker co-hosted the first Rugby World Cup with Australia in 1987. However, its lack of accommodation and sporting stadiums were speculated as impediments to future chances. Originally set to co-host the 2003 tournament with Australia, a disagreement over ground signage rights saw the New Zealand games dropped and Australia became the sole host. Prior to the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand, critics doubted that New Zealand had the infrastructure to host an event of this size. The New Zealand bid contained plans to enlarge the size of Eden Parkmarker to help increase the commercial viability of the bid.

Of the three candidates, Japanmarker was widely expected to win hosting rights. It was believed to be the desire of the IRB to move the tournament from the traditional rugby nations such as New Zealand and South Africa. If it were to have been held in Japan it would be the first time a Rugby World Cup had taken place in Asia. With stadiums from the 2002 FIFA World Cup, it had the necessary infrastructure already in place. Japan would eventually succeed in its aim to host a World Cup in 2009, when it was awarded the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The South African bid, led by former national captain Francois Pienaar, had strong support from their government. It successfully hosted the tournament in 1995. There was belief throughout the rugby union community that the organisation of the Rugby World Cup would be overshadowed by the organisation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The New Zealand bid was led by the New Zealand Rugby Union (at the time of bidding known as the New Zealand Rugby Football Union) and supported by the New Zealand Government, through the Prime Minister and current players, represented by the All Black captain. After winning the bid, the NZRFU expressed extreme disappointment towards their Australian counterparts who voted against New Zealand hosting the event, due to the NZRFU's misplaced expectation that the "ANZAC spirit" would result in a vote for New Zealand. After South Africa was voted out of the running for the hosting rights, their rugby union openly stated that they voted for New Zealand, as they remembered the anti-apartheid sentiment that average New Zealanders had demonstrated during the 1981 South African Tour.

After an IRB inspection of each applicant host nation during June and July 2005, the winning bid of New Zealandmarker was announced during the IRB Council meeting in Dublinmarker on 17 November 2005.

Qualification

The following teams qualified for the 2011 World Cup by finishing in the top 3 of their group in the 2007 Rugby World Cup:



The following teams qualified for the 2011 World Cup through regional qualifying competitions:

Venues

The 13 venues for the 2011 Rugby World Cup were confirmed on 12 March 2009.

City Stadium Capacity
Aucklandmarker Eden Parkmarker 63,000*
Aucklandmarker North Harbour Stadiummarker 35,000*
Whangareimarker Northland Events Centremarker 25,000
Hamiltonmarker Waikato Stadiummarker 30,000*
Rotoruamarker Rotorua International Stadiummarker 35,000
New Plymouthmarker Yarrow Stadiummarker 24,000
Napiermarker McLean Parkmarker 22,000
Palmerston Northmarker Arena Manawatumarker 18,000
Wellingtonmarker Westpac Stadiummarker 40,000*
Nelsonmarker Trafalgar Parkmarker 16,000
Christchurchmarker AMI Stadiummarker 50,000*
Dunedinmarker Carisbrookmarker 30,000*
Invercargillmarker Rugby Parkmarker 17,000


A number of the venues announced are undergoing redevelopment to increase capacity for the event. Dunedin is currently building a new stadium named Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plazamarker, due for completion in August 2011. If completed on schedule, it will be used instead of Carisbrook.

Auckland options

On 10 November 2006, the New Zealand Government announced plans for Stadium New Zealand for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The proposal was to build the new stadium seating 70,000 on the Auckland waterfront. After much public outcry, and lack of support from the Auckland Regional Council, the proposal was dropped in favour of the redevelopment of Eden Parkmarker.

The redevelopment of Eden Park's Southern and South Western stands are progressing well. The old stands have been demolished and the supporting pillars and beams have been installed. Work is now starting on the first floor of the Southern stand.

Some consents are still to be approved but the Government has announced it is considering passing a law bypassing the consent process to allow the stadiums redevelopment to be completed in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Draw

Seeding of teams for the 2011 World Cup was based on their respective IRB World Rankings. The draw was conducted on 1 December 2008 and used the World Rankings as of 30 November 2008, after the Northern Hemisphere Autumn internationals. The top four at the 2007 Rugby World Cup (South Africa, England, Argentina, and France) were not allocated top pool spots, but "the rankings are now very well established and provide us with a credible and succinct way of seeding teams for the rugby World Cup pool draw," according to Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) chairman Syd Millar.

The full draw and venues for the tournament were announced on 12 March 2009.

The opening match will see the hosts, New Zealand, take on Tonga. This will be the first World Cup since 1995 in which the opening match does not involve Argentina.

Pool stage

Pool A

Team Pld W D L TF PF PA +/- BP Pts
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Asia 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0





























Pool B

Team Pld W D L TF PF PA +/- BP Pts
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Europe 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Play Off Winner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0





























Pool C

Team Pld W D L TF PF PA +/- BP Pts
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Europe 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0





























Pool D

Team Pld W D L TF PF PA +/- BP Pts
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0





























Knockout stage

References

  1. City hits the heights to house visitors - New Zealand Herald, Tuesday 30 November 2007, Page A7




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