Rugby World Cup 2011
RWC'11 planing ahead of schedule
December 12, 2008
 A special, commemorative gold Rugby World Cup 2011 pin is displayed during a presentation to mark 1000 days to the start of Rugby World Cup 2011 at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand on December 11, 2008.
The countdown is on to the sport's next global showpiece © Getty Images

With Saturday, December 13 marking 1000 days to go until New Zealand hosts Rugby World Cup 2011, confidence is high the tournament will be a great success, creating long lasting benefits both for New Zealand and the global development of Rugby.

Aside from the smooth running of the global sporting spectacle, the Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited organising body and tournament owners Rugby World Cup Limited are working hard to deliver a Rugby World Cup that will offer world class facilities for teams and travelling supporters, while retaining a uniquely New Zealand feel.

"The 1000 day countdown is a significant operational landmark for what is the world's third largest sporting event. In just under three years time the global Rugby community will descend on New Zealand - a country that is immersed in Rugby tradition and culture," said Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Kit McConnell, the International Rugby Board's senior executive based full-time in New Zealand in the build up to the 2011 tournament.

"We are satisfied that as we reach this milestone, planning and preparation is at an advanced stage and is ahead of all previous tournaments at the same stage. Momentum is building in New Zealand thanks to the fostering of an excellent working relationship between RWCL and RNZ 2011 and the outstanding support of the New Zealand Government."

"This year we have put in place some of the important building blocks of the tournament, including the selection of venues for knockout matches and confirming the pool allocation for teams. In the next six months we will finalise the match schedule and allocate all pool phase matches, continue to develop the ticketing strategy and finalise the alignment of project plans and legacy goals. Any event of this size has hundreds of critical projects but we are well positioned to meet the key deadlines," added McConnell.

For RNZ 2011 Ltd CEO Martin Snedden, the 1000 days to go landmark provides the appropriate opportunity to reflect on operational milestones achieved to date and outline the next steps for a tournament that will draw a global television audience of over four billion.

"There is plenty more to do, but I am confident that we are on track to deliver an inspiring tournament with a uniquely New Zealand feel. We're doing an awful lot of work to create an outstanding festival that creates long lasting benefits for Rugby and for New Zealand as well as great memories for everyone involved," said Snedden.

The milestone is being commemorated in New Zealand with the production of a special '1000 days to go' pin which can be won in a competition through most major newspapers across the country on Saturday.

Two unique gold versions of the pin were also crafted and presented to the representatives of the two major shareholders in RNZ 2011, the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand Rugby Union. Snedden presented one gold pin to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and the other to New Zealand Rugby Union Chairman Jock Hobbs.


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