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NZ chances of holding 2011 World Cup looking slim

NZ chances of holding 2011 World Cup looking slim

New Zealand’s chances of staging the 2011 Rugby World Cup appear to be shrinking, according to a special English report on the commercial side of the tournament just released.

The International rugby Board is considering hosting the event outside the UK, France, South Africa or Australasia for the first time, the Sportcal Global Communications report said.

France has already won hosting rights to stage the 2007 World Cup.

In an effort to improve the game worldwide, the IRB has mentioned USA or Argentina as potential hosts, the report says.

The 41-page London-based report is a commercial breakdown of rugby’s showpiece event.

New Zealand missed out on sub-hosting the current World Cup in Australia and the report says the NZRFU may bid for the 2011 event.

``New Zealand could also bid, given that it was stripped of hosting rights to the 2003 tournament.’’

However, NZRFU chief executive Chris Moller recently warned that if NZ were to be successful it would need bigger stadiums, the report said.

Moller has said any bid consideration would not be discussed until at least 2004.

In July, the IRB visited Japan to inspect facilities and the country’s potential to host the 2011 tournament.

The report said a move to offer the 2011 event to a new country first time might help broaden the game’s appeal.

``The IRB is expected to urge the USA to bid for (2011) hosting rights in an effort to raise the profile of the sport in the country.’’

The successful bid for 2011 will be announced in 2005.

South Africa is considering a bid for 2011 but they expect strong opposition from England, the losing bidder for the 2007 tournament.

Meanwhile, the IRB profit from the 2003 tournament in Australia is expected to generate around $US90 million, compared to $US1.6 million when New Zealand and Australia hosted the inaugural tournament in 1987.

The 1999 World Cup in the UK, Ireland and France generated $us75 million.

Copyright 2003 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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