Future of Christchurch Rugby World Cup games uncertain

Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden rules out moving games to Australia; comments on quake impact.

Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden has ruled out relocating Rugby World Cup matches to Australia after this week’s devastating earthquake in Christchurch.

However, he said it was too early to say what effect the earthquake, which has caused liquefaction in AMI Stadium, would have on the games scheduled for Christchurch.

“It is too early to talk in any detail about implications for the tournament in Christchurch and any assessment by us must wait while the rescue efforts take priority.

“The next step will involve our organisation leading a thorough process of assessing the city’s ability to host the seven RWC 2011 matches scheduled to take place there.

This will involve an assessment of all the key RWC 2011 infrastructure of the city including the stadium, hotels, training facilities and the transport network.

“A detailed evaluation of this nature will take place as soon as is reasonably possible. We are mindful of the pressure the people of Christchurch are under right now and do not want to place any more demands on them.

“Christchurch is a proud rugby city with a rich rugby heritage and we know the tournament means a lot to fans there.

“We are hopeful a clearer picture will emerge in the coming days to allow us to make the right decisions.

“There has been speculation that this tragedy puts the entire event in jeopardy or that matches will relocate to Australia. That is not the case.

“Rest assured, RWC 2011 will proceed and all matches will take place in New Zealand.” 

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