15 Mar 2011

Christchurch to lose World Cup matches says British report

12:57 pm on 15 March 2011

Christchurch will lose its Rugby World Cup games with a report finding the city's stadium is unfit to host matches in the wake of last month's earthquake, British media is reporting.

London's Daily Telegraph newspaper says it has confirmation from a senior International Rugby Board source that the engineers' structural report will end the city's hosting chances.

Christchurch is due to host two quarter-finals and five pool games.

The 6.3-magnitude quake destroyed much of the CBD, where hundreds of fans were to be accommodated, and damaged AMI stadium's stands and grounds.

The Telegraph says the report on the state of the stadium is bleak and shows it won't be ready in time for the start of the tournament in September.

It said the IRB's promised all games would still be played in New Zealand.

It says the decision is likely be confirmed by the IRB and the New Zealand government in the next 48 hours, the report said.

The newspaper also confirmed that the England squad, which was to be staying in Christchurch are now likely to be based in Auckland for the tournament.

Rugby New Zealand 2011, the body responsible for organising the World Cup, is refusing to comment