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Local businesses welcome IRB Junior World Championship 2014

Local businesses welcome IRB Junior World Championship 2014

Auckland business associations in Takapuna, Kingsland, Dominion Road and Pukekohe are pulling out all stops to welcome visiting teams of the IRB Junior World Championship 2014.

The future stars of world rugby – 336 players in 12 teams – will arrive this month in preparation for the seventh IRB Junior World Championship which kicks-off at Eden Park on Monday 2 June.

Takapuna will host the England and Wales squads for the duration of the tournament. The business association has promised to paint the town red for their arrivals, with a huge welcome banner, bunting-lined streets, welcome posters in shop windows and a shop-to-win promotion.

Both teams will be greeted with a powhiri – including a waiata and haka – performed by the Takapuna Primary School culture group.

Takapuna Beach Business Association Marketing and Events Manager, Matthew Braithwaite, says the local business community has a strong tradition of embracing international sports stars, having successfully hosted France, Australia and the All Blacks during Rugby World Cup 2011.

“This is the biggest fifteens tournament in the world outside Rugby World Cup and we’re privileged to be given the chance to host these young rugby stars for such an important event. Our community will make every effort to ensure both teams feel right at home,” he says.

Business associations in Dominion Road, Kingsland and Pukekohe will dress their streets and hold a shop-to-win competition, with the opportunity to win a signed jersey and tickets to the final.

During their stay each of the twelve competing teams – Argentina, Australia, England, Italy, Fiji, France, Ireland, Wales, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand – will also visit a range of community groups, schools and rugby clubs in a series of activities right across Auckland.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says connecting with communities at a grassroots level is an important aspect of hosting major events.

“With Aucklanders passion for rugby this is a golden opportunity to meet the future stars of world rugby and I encourage people to make the most of this,” he says.

Eden Park will host three matches including the final on Friday 20 June 2014 at 7.35pm, with all other matches including semi-finals to be played at QBE Stadium North Harbour and Ecolight Stadium Pukekohe. Matches will be played on 2, 6, 10, 15 and 20 June.

Hosting the IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand has been made possible through the significant support provided by the Government (through the Major Events Development Fund) and ATEED, on behalf of Auckland Council, who have each invested $1.45m in the tournament.



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