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Christchurch games have already been cancelled - UK paper


If Rugby World Cup games go ahead in the quake-hit city, don't expect many members of the Barmy Army to book tickets.

NBR staff
Tue, 15 Mar 2011

If Rugby World Cup games do go ahead at Christchurch's AMI stadium, don't expect many members of the UK's Barmy Army to book tickets.

A second UK paper has weighed in with a fear-mongering report on the city's rugby venue.

Under the headline "Christchurch's AMI Stadium will not host World Cup matches after suffering damage in earthquake" the Daily Telegraph has published a story today saying games at the stadium have been cancelled.

Journalist Gavin Mairs, quoting a "senior International Rugby Board source" writes that an official announcement is "imminent."

Christchurch is due to host seven matches, including two of the four quarter-final matches, on October 8 and 9 – the latter to feature the winner of the pool containing England and Scotland.

The Telegraph also notes that, "The Crowne Plaza, the five-star hotel allocated to Martin Johnson’s squad for their scheduled four-week stay in Christchurch, was also seriously damaged by the quake." 

The Telegraph is the second UK paper to question whether the Christchurch games will go ahead. Last week Peter Bills, who writes for The Independent, said it would be a "huge gamble" for the event to go ahead in the quake-stricken city.

The New Zealand government is considering an engineering report on the stadium, and liquefaction damage to the pitch. World Cup minister Murray McCully may make a recommendation to the IRB before Friday.

Earlier this morning, prime minister John Key said people had to be realistic about the prospect of games being hosted in the city, but said that no decision been reached.

NBR staff
Tue, 15 Mar 2011
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Christchurch games have already been cancelled - UK paper
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