Grassroots rugby the winner in RWC

  • Gerry Brownlee
Rugby World Cup

The organisers of the Rugby World Cup have pulled out all the stops to bring the cream of international rugby to grassroots New Zealand, Rugby World Cup Associate Minister Gerry Brownlee said today.

Speaking after the announcement of the team bases for the 2011 event, Mr Brownlee says the chief executive of Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd, Martin Snedden, had made a huge effort to bring the excitement of the event to as many Kiwis as possible.

"Martin and his team have undertaken a massive logistical exercise to share the 20 rugby teams around as many towns as possible. The result means Kiwis are the winners on the day. Right around the country, hundreds of thousands of people will get to soak up the atmosphere of New Zealand's biggest sporting event by hosting a top-class team.

"Our passion for rugby means visiting teams are in for a real treat - they'll get to experience the very best of local hospitality, culture and knock-out scenery.

"The team hosting programme means the strongholds of grassroots rugby get to become centre-stage for one of the world's top 20 teams. I know every single town involved will step up and give teams an unforgettable time."

Twenty-three centres around the country will host at least one team. In addition to the 13 match venues, the hosting centres include:

Bay of Islands, Tauranga/Mt Maunganui, Gisborne, Masterton, Ashburton, Rodney, Taupo, Wanganui, Blenheim, and Queenstown.