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Disappointment at World Cup loss

Sport, Fitness and Leisure Minister Trevor Mallard said today he was disappointed that New Zealand has missed out on sub-hosting the World Cup Rugby tournament.

“It is a blow to me personally both as an avid rugby fan and as part of a government that recognises the benefits that hosting an event of this size can bring to the country,” Trevor Mallard said.

“At the same time, we must put it in perspective. With all the tragedies that are going on both in New Zealand and internationally it is important to remember that this is only a game.

“Politics and sport is always a volatile mix. But in recognition of the importance of rugby to our national sporting culture and heritage, the New Zealand Government took an unusual step to offer support to the New Zealand Rugby Union as it sought to secure New Zealand’s sub-hosting rights.

“It is well known that that included a trip to Sydney for me to meet with International Rugby Union chair Vernon Pugh. There were also discussions with other governments and work to help clean the stadia.

“We were, however, mindful that in the end, the running of rugby is the responsibility of the sport’s ruling bodies and our interventions had to be minimal and consistent with their wishes.

“Unfortunately, the outcome is not the one we were hoping for. I am disappointed and I know many other New Zealanders will be as well.

“It is now important to focus energy on supporting the All Blacks to play their best and bring the Cup back to New Zealand where it belongs,” Trevor Mallard said.

Ends

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