IRB Statement on Christchurch
The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the global Rugby family continue to be with the people of Christchurch, all New Zealanders and everyone affected by last week’s tragedy. The response of the global Rugby family has been overwhelming and we know is greatly appreciated by those affected.
It is appropriate that the focus must remain on the extensive recovery and response operation in Christchurch and it would not be right for Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) to speculate or comment on Christchurch’s ability to host Rugby World Cup 2011 matches as planned until an extensive review and assessment has been completed, which could take several weeks.
RWCL, in partnership with tournament organisers RNZ 2011, the New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Government, continues to assess the damage to critical tournament facilities and services. These include Stadium Christchurch itself, accommodation, training facilities, the transport network and key tournament infrastructure.
Initial reports indicate that there has been damage to Stadium Christchurch, accommodation and other infrastructure. However no decision will be taken about the RWC 2011 matches scheduled to be held in Christchurch until accurate and confirmed information has been received and analysed following the completion of the currently ongoing full assessment. Consideration must be given to all aspects of hosting RWC matches.
Whatever the outcome of the detailed assessment, all 48 matches will be hosted in New Zealand and the tournament will kick off on September 9.
RWCL and RNZ 2011 continue to regularly update all tournament stakeholders who have been extremely supportive throughout the process. All Rugby stakeholders recognise that the people of Christchurch are the paramount consideration at this difficult time.