Hobbs: Lions tour key

The success of the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour will be critical to New Zealand's hopes of hosting the 2011 World Cup, according to NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

The success of the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour will be critical to New Zealand’s hopes of hosting the 2011 World Cup, according to NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs.

New Zealand, who staged the first World Cup in 1987, are in a race against Japan and South Africa to host the tournament in six years’ time.

Hobbs admitted Japan seemed to have an edge in terms of the money it could generate, but money was not the only issue the International Rugby Board would consider.

"New Zealand has a history of delivering outstanding events and I’m sure that will be a factor too," he told the Dominion Post.

"It is imperative that the series [with the British & Irish Lions] is staged successfully to prove that New Zealand, and the New Zealand rugby community, are capable of hosting major sports events."

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The NZRU, who have formed a joint venture with the New Zealand Government to assess New Zealand’s ability to host the World Cup, has until May 13 to decide whether or not to lodge a bid with the IRB.

A decision on who will host the 2011 tournament will be made at the IRB’s council meeting in Dublin in November.

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