12 Mar 2009

2011 Rugby World Cup venues announced

8:27 pm on 12 March 2009

The Auckland region is getting the most games in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The schedule for the tournament was announced on Thursday by Rugby New Zealand 2011.

Thirteen centres from Whangarei to Invercargill will host pool games.

Eden Park in Auckland will host five matches, as well as the semifinals and final, with another three being held on the North Shore.

Wellington and Christchurch have been allocated five pool matches.

Hamilton, New Plymouth, Rotorua and Dunedin will each host three matches.

Whangarei, Nelson, Palmerston North, Napier and Invercargill will host two.

There will be no matches at Queenstown and Tauranga.

Tauranga entered a joint bid with Rotorua, but the tourist centre was chosen to host the three games.

Tauranga's Mayor, Stuart Crosby, concedes it's a shame Tauranga won't host any matches but he says the entire Bay of Plenty region will benefit from the games played in Rotorua.

The mayor of Queenstown Clive Geddes says it's unfortunate Queenstown missed out, but he's excited about the economic opportunities the Invercargill and Dunedin matches will bring to the deep south.

The opening match will be at Eden Park on Friday, 9 September, when New Zealand will play Tonga.

The International Rugby Board says the final will be held on the weekend of 22-23 October.