Australia & NZ
New Zealand Rugby World Cup 2011 Primer
The Rugby World Cup may not be as big as other quadrennial international events like the FIFA World Cup, Summer Olympics or ICC Cricket World Cup but know this: over 100,000 overseas visitors will be in New Zealand from September 9 to October 23 to attend the seventh edition. In terms of sheer global exposure and importance, no other event in the history of the country comes close (and yes, that includes a Peter Jackson film shoot).
The All Blacks perform the pre-match haka – Photo credit
With that, take a look at the 11 Rugby World Cup tournament hosts in Kiwi country (sadly, in the wake of the February 2011 earthquake, Christchurch is not on the list).
Eden Park will host two quarter-finals, the semi-finals on October 15-16 and the championship match on October 23. Key fixtures at the stadium include New Zealand v Tonga, New Zealand v France and England v Scotland.
Where to stay: Bianco Off Queen Apartments Auckland
North Harbour Stadium will see fixture action like France v Japan, Australia v Italy and South Africa v Samoa.
Where to stay: SKYCITY Grand Hotel Auckland
The Cake Tin, or Wellington Regional Stadiun, will host the other two quarterfinals and fixtures like France v Tonga, New Zealand v Canada and Argentina v Scotland.
Where to stay: Copthorne Oriental Bay Hotel Wellington
Forsyth Barr (Otago) Stadium is set to host Argentina v England, England v Georgia and England v Romania.
Where to stay: St Clair Beach Resort
Waikato Stadium will resonate with Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau for the likes of Wales v Samoa and Wales v Fiji.
Where to stay: Aspen Manor Motel Hamilton
Get your mud bath on and cheer on Fiji v Namibia and Samoa v Namibia.
Where to stay: Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort Rotorua
Yarrow Stadium (Taranaki) will rock for Ireland v United States and the “Cold War” match of Russia v United States.
Where to stay: Copthorne Hotel Grand Central New Plymouth
Trafalgar Park has a decent trifecta on tap in Italy v Russia, Italy v United States and Australia v Russia.
Where to stay: Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Hotel & Resort
The southernmost city in New Zealand will host Scotland v Romania, Scotland v Georgia and Argentina v Romania at Rugby Park Stadium.
Where to stay: Victoria Railway Hotel Invercargill
On the flipside, the northernmost city in New Zealand will see Tonga perform the Kailao war dance v Canada and Japan at Okara Park.
Where to stay: Lodge Bordeaux Whangarei
McLean Park will host France v Canada and Canada v Japan.
Where to stay: Scenic Hotel Te Pania
Small Arena Manawatu will hold two fixtures in Georgia v Romania and Argentina v Georgia. Sounds like a good day out in Student City.
Where to stay: Fitzherbert Regency Motor Lodge Palmerston North