1 Oct 2011

Big day for Rugby World Cup underway

3:28 pm on 1 October 2011

Rugby World Cup organisers say they've prepared to open Auckland's Captain Cook Wharf on Saturday to deal with the influx of fans.

Thousands of Tongan fans are expected at the Auckland waterfront fan zone to watch their team's Pool A match against France in Wellington.

Scottish and English fans will also be watching their teams battle it out at Eden Park in what is a must win game for the Scots if they're to have any hope of reaching the quarter finals.

The stand-by Captain Cook Wharf is opened if needed to cope with crowds, and was used for the first time on Saturday 25 September.

Meanwhile the capital is hosting its biggest weekend of the Rugby World Cup so far.

Fans are in Wellington for both Saturday's Tonga-France clash and the All Blacks' Pool A match against Canada on Sunday.

As the top qualifier in Pool A, the All Blacks have already booked their place in the quarterfinals, while a win for France on Saturday will also see them progress to the knockout stages.

Rugby World Cup organisers say hosting four matches at Auckland's North Harbour Stadium has proven successful.

The stadium, on Auckland's North Shore, held its final match for the tournament on Friday, attracting a capacity crowd to see South Africa beat Samoa 13-5 in their Pool D match.

Rugby World Cup Auckland event chair, Rachael Dacy, says 38% of those at the game arrived via public transport - a record for the tournament so far.