2011 World Cup
World Cup half-time break extended
ESPNscrum Staff
June 10, 2011
Organisers will hope the supporters take advantage of the longer break © Getty Images

Rugby World Cup officials have announced that the half-time break at this year's tournament will be extended by two minutes.

The decision has been taken to hopefully prevent crushes at the toilets and bars at match venues and also to allow longer recuperation for the players and broadcasters more time for either adverts or analysis. Half-time intervals in New Zealand usually last 10 minutes but the IRB changed the rules in November 2010 to allow up to 15 minutes.

"International matches around the world vary from anywhere between 10 minutes and up towards 13 minutes," said Kit McConnell, the IRB's World Cup tournament manager. "International matches in the northern hemisphere go to around 12 and a half minutes including matches the All Blacks have played in recent northern hemisphere tours, so it's not unusual."

The Aviva Premiership opted to take the extra five minutes break with players usually spending two or three of those 15 on the pitch warming up prior to the second-half. "The reason the English Premiership went to 15 minutes is to help out the spectators and alleviate the crush on toilets and food and beverages at halftime," added McConnell.

"Obviously there's broadcast considerations also in terms of half-time analysis and commercial breaks. When we looked at what was happening around the world we decided 12 minutes was probably a very good result to balance all those considerations."

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