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Australia Pledges To Stage Best Ever World Cup

Australia Pledges To Stage Best Ever Rugby World Cup

Date: 18/4/2002

The Australian Rugby Union today pledged to unite the Rugby world and stage the best ever Rugby World Cup in an environment of unrivalled passion, atmosphere and commitment.

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) Managing Director, John O`Neill, made the pledge following the decision, by an overwhelming majority, of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Council to confirm Australia as sole host of the 2003 event.

The ARU presented to Council a compelling case, based on the four years of effort and planning which followed Australia’s original bid in 1997.

ARU Managing Director John O’Neill says Australia has never wavered in its enthusiasm and commitment to the event.

"We are rolling up our sleeves and getting down to work. We have been obsessive about hosting this World Cup and with good reason. World Rugby has a great opportunity to stage an event of the highest quality. The ARU possesses the expertise to do that. The integrity of the tournament is at the front of our thinking.”

“At the same time, there is the chance to provide a great legacy for the game in Australia, both in terms of exposure and also financially. Professional sport is a tough, competitive environment in Australia. Rugby World Cup staged here will give us an edge our competitors lack.”

The ARU is planning an event which will embrace the nation, using world class stadia in major capital cities, as well as a number of regional centres. A World Cup launch, unveiling the venues and match schedule will be held within a month.

The ARU has garnered the support of the Federal and State governments across the country to lend practical assistance across a range of areas to ensure a seamless experience for players and fans. Transport, tourism, health and security services will be delivered to the highest quality. Some state governments have established operational “hubs” to ensure the coordination of these services.

Mr O’Neill said throughout this episode, the New Zealand Rugby Football Union has been the master of its own destiny and the adjudicator has now made a decision.

“I am certain New Zealanders will get behind the All Blacks as they always do. They are among the most passionate rugby supporters in the world, so I am sure, whether it’s on television or following the All Blacks wherever they play, New Zealand fans will get behind their team.

“Needless to say there is some healing to be done and we will start that process by increasing the number of tickets available to New Zealand supporters to see their All Blacks play at the Rugby World Cup.

Mr O’Neill stressed from a Rugby World Cup 2003 perspective, it’s time to move on.

“We are well down the track in our preparation, but time is of the essence. We have set some critical timelines to ensure this event will be every bit as good as people expect. There is no looking back now, we must roll up our sleeves and get on with it.

“Rugby World Cup 2003 in Australia will be the best ever. We have the track record, we’ve made the commitment, we’ll put our hearts into it. It will be the “players Cup.”

Ends


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