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Minister Welcomes 20-Team Decision

Acting Rugby World Cup Minister Michael Cullen has welcomed the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) decision to retain the 20-team format for the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.

The IRB had been investigating the option of reducing the number of teams competing in the next Rugby World Cup but has announced its decision today to keep the successful format used in the past three tournaments.

“This decision is great news because the 20-team format will provide the tournament organisers with the best opportunity to make this a truly New Zealand-wide event.  The more teams involved in the Rugby World Cup 2011, the more opportunities there will be for cities and towns around the country to be involved. 

“This decision by the IRB provides the tournament organiser, Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd, with the certainty to move forward with its planning including decisions around where games will be played and where to base the visiting teams.  A greater spread of cities and towns involved in the tournament will also encourage our overseas guests to see more of New Zealand, bringing wider tourism and economic benefits,” Dr Cullen said.

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