4 Sep 2011

More official welcomes for World Cup rugby teams

8:02 pm on 4 September 2011

More World Cup rugby teams were officially welcomed on Sunday including Argentina, the United States, Ireland and Wales.

Argentina was welcomed at an official ceremony in Dunedin.

The players, who arrived in the city on Thursday, have their first world cup clash against England on 10 September at the new Otago stadium.

About 250 people attended the civic welcome and capping ceremony at the Dunedin Town Hall which included a powhiri, music performances and a Chinese dragon display.

The team's captain, Felipe Contepomi, said he hoped to give New Zealanders something to cheer for, and to transmit the rugby values his team and country believes in.

About 100 people were at Putiki marae in Whanganui for a powhiri to welcome the United States rugby team for the World Cup.

The team heard from the mayor Annette Main before a karakia and capping ceremony.

They then went for a waka ride up the Whanganui River.

The team will play two pool games in New Plymouth against Ireland and Russia, as well as playing Australia in Wellington and Italy in Nelson.

There were also welcoming ceremonies for Ireland in Queenstown, and Wales in Porirua.

Irish Captain Brian O'Driscoll told the crowd the team had chosen to come to Queenstown because of everything the resort had to offer, including training facilities, adventure activities and nightlife.

The team were allowed to hit the town on Friday night and visited several bars.

But on Sunday it was back to training at the Queenstown Events Centre before the civic welcome at the Skyline Gondola.

The Welsh team received a traditional Maori welcome into Porirua and they have their first match next Sunday.