22 Aug 2011

RWC organisers make pitch for Aussie fans

9:26 pm on 22 August 2011

Rugby World Cup organisers are launching a last-minute bid to convince more Australians to visit for the tournament.

Rugby World Cup 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden and Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully fly to Australia on Tuesday, where they will use speaking engagements and media opportunities in Brisbane and Sydney to remind rugby fans that the tournament is about to start.

Organisers estimate that about 30,000 Australians are coming for the tournament, but say they want more.

Mr Snedden believes it is not too late to convince Australians, as New Zealand is a short, cheap plane ride away, and there are plenty of game tickets still available.

Mr McCully hopes to have just $25 million worth of tickets to sell by the time the tournament opens on 9 September.

He says if the organisers go into the final phase of selling with that many tickets left, they'd be ahead of the last two cup events.

Mr McCully says New Zealand is a smaller country and the market is tough at the moment, but he's comfortable with how sales are tracking.