19 Dec 2009

Taupo's mayor over the moon about RWC hosting

7:07 pm on 19 December 2009

The mayor of Taupo says he's over the moon that his town will host three teams during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Twenty-three cities and towns have been chosen to host the 20 international teams coming to New Zealand for the tournament.

Taupo will host Wales for five nights, Ireland for four and South Africa for 12, and mayor Rick Cooper says the town will roll out the red carpet for them and their fans.

Businesses and tourism operators have already begun offering services and products, says Mr Cooper, who adds that he still can't quite believe the news.

Meanwhile, Masterton mayor Garry Daniell says his town is abuzz with excitement at the news that it will host a yet-to-be-determined European qualifying side for seven nights.

As a smaller provincial area, Masterton has some empathy with the relatively unknown teams, Mr Daniell says.

Nelson gets Italy, North Shore France

Sixteen centres in the North Island and seven in the South Island will host at least one of team. Thirteen of them have already been confirmed as match venues.

Nelson has got its wish to host Italy and will also host the United States and a European team yet to be determined.

Queenstown missed out on its bid to host a match, but will be temporarily home to the English and Irish teams for several nights.

North Shore will host France and South Africa for a significant time, while Wellington will have no fewer than nine teams staying there at some stage during pool play.

Full list of 23 centres

North Island Bay of Islands, Whangarei, Rodney, North Shore, Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga/Mount Maunganui, Gisborne, Napier, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Masterton and Wellington.

South Island Blenheim, Nelson, Christchurch, Ashburton, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill.

The All Blacks will divide their time between Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton.