Rugby World Cup
World Cup kick-off times revealed
September 16, 2010
The Rugby World Cup kick-off times will attempt to maximise global audiences © Getty Images
The kick-off times for next year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand were announced today signalling another milestone in the countdown to the tournament.
The opening ceremony at Eden Park in Auckland will begin at 7.45pm on Friday September 9 with the action starting when New Zealand face Tonga at 8.30pm.
England's opening match will kick off at 8.30pm local time (9.30am UK time) in Christchurch the following day. Their subsequent pool B games will take place at 6pm (7am in the UK), firstly against Georgia on Sunday September 18 and then versus a yet to be decided play-off winner the following Saturday. Their final game of the opening stage is against Scotland at 8.30pm a week later.
The tournament will culminate at the redeveloped Eden Park with the semi-finals and final. The kick-off time for these matches was confirmed at 9.00pm when the match schedule was announced in March 2009. The announcement comes after the opening of applications for individual match.
"We have achieved a good balance," said Martin Snedden, CEO for Tournament Organisers Rugby New Zealand 2011. "If New Zealand is to make the most of the platform RWC 2011 gives us to showcase our country to the world, then we need to ensure we maximise the global television audience for key matches.
"What has now been agreed with event-owner Rugby World Cup Limited will help all hosting regions to promote themselves to the world and help fans, both domestic and international, to get on with planning their RWC 2011 experience with the start of the Tournament now less than a year away."
"The mix of match times should really contribute to the whole festival atmosphere of the Tournament. Ten of the 48 matches will be played in the afternoon including the New Zealand v Canada pool match. A further 12 matches will begin by 6pm and another seven at 7.30pm."