Five Million in the Stands

Despite widespread international media opinion that we would be out in the first round, New Zealand has won the bid to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup. After South Africa’s unexpected removal from the running, New Zealand and Japan were left in contention with the final round of voting going New Zealand’s way. Australia voted for Japan. After a campaign tour of 12 countries in 20 days, the final pitch included presentations from Helen Clark, Tana Umaga, Jock Hobbs, Colin Meads and Chris Moller. Clark was the first head of state to visit the IRB offices in Dublin, an appearance that cemented New Zealand’s commitment to the Cup. Former All Black Captain-turned commentator Sean Fitzpatrick summed up the bid’s key messages: “Every New Zealander feels they have a share of the All Blacks. They love their rugby union and will do everything to make sure the event is one to remember.”

Tags: All Blacks  Australia  Chris Moller  Colin Meads  Dublin  Guardian (The)  Helen Clark  International Rugby Board  Japan  Jock Hobbs  New Zealand  Rugby World Cup (2011)  Sean Fitzpatrick  South Africa  Tana Umaga