New Zealand launch World Cup bid

The New Zealand Rugby Union have confirmed they will lodge a bid to host the 2011 World Cup. [more]

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The New Zealand Rugby Union have confirmed they will lodge a bid to host the 2011 World Cup.

The bid, a partnership between the NZRU and the New Zealand Government, will be delivered by chief executive Chris Moller to the International Rugby Board in Dublin on Friday.

New Zealand face challenges from Japan and South Africa to host the tournament but NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs claims their bid meets all the requirements of the IRB and emphasises the rich heritage and history of All Blacks rugby.

"We believe this will be a tournament for the players," Hobbs said.

"As the Lions series is demonstrating, many believe that New Zealand represents the ultimate challenge for rugby players around the world.

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"New Zealanders are passionate about their rugby – and that passion is one of the key assets of our bid.

"While we are a small country, we make up for that in other ways – we are a stadium of four million people."

New Zealand’s co-hosting agreement with Australia for the 2003 tournament fell apart because of their inability to produce the required stadia clean of all advertising and sponsorship not connected to the World Cup.

But Hobbs believes that this will not be an issue this time round.

"The Joint Bid Office have done a considerable amount of work on this issue," Hobbs said. "It’s all but done.

"There are some small pockets that still need to be dealt with, and I do emphasise small pockets.

"We’re confident of working through those pockets and we have given an undertaking to the IRB that our stadia will be clean."

Hobbs also addressed the problem of a lack of a large national stadium by announcing that Eden Park in Auckland would be up-graded to meet the IRB’s requirements.

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