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North Shore City Mayor praises NZRU

North Shore City Mayor praises NZRU
November 18, 2005

North Shore City mayor and former Northcote lock, George Wood, has praised the New Zealand Rugby Union's triumph in securing the rights to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

In an email to NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs and chief executive Chris Moller, the rugby-mad mayor described it as a wonderful achievement.

"Your fellow New Zealanders are proud of you," he wrote.

"On behalf of the people of the North Harbour region, I'm looking forward to seeing the (RWC) tournament come home in six years time. This news will be welcomed throughout the country and I'm sure it will be great for the North Shore."

Mr Wood says he hopes pool games will be held at North Harbour Stadium in Albany.

"I'll be talking to the stadium's trust board to make sure everything is ship-shape for the Cup.

"We've got a great stadium that has proven itself on the world stage," he says, referring to the venue's hosting of the 1999 Under-17 World Cup Soccer Tournament, an event lauded by soccer's governing body FIFA.

"I'd like to see overseas teams based here in North Shore City. We'll look after them well with great facilities and a real rugby atmosphere that Colin Meads and Tana Umaga talked about when they presented to the IRB in Dublin.

"We've got a proven track record and can build on the wonderful experience we had this year hosting the Lions," George Wood says.

During this year's tour of New Zealand by the British and Irish Lions, the visitors were based at Onewa Domain in Takapuna in an arrangement meticulously planned by the NZRU and supported by the North Shore City Council.

In his email, George Wood asked the NZRU bosses to pass on his best wishes to the All Blacks for this weekend's test against reigning world champion England at Twickenham.

He singled out Harbour loosehead prop Tony Woodcock for special mention.

"While the British media are slavering about the clash between giants Andy Sheridan and Carl Hayman, I expect Tony will be doing the hard yards to monster the monstrous English front row."


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