Rugby World Cup minister Murray McCully confirmed that no games will be played in Christchurch at the tournament later this year.
After the devastating earthquake that ravaged the South Island city, it was believed that Christchurch would still be able to host their seven World Cup fixtures (five group games and two quarter-finals) in September and October. However, McCully said Christchurch has lost its World Cup hosting rights in an official announcement on Wednesday.
McCully apologised to Christchurch residents and mayor Bob Parker for the decision. He explained that the damage was just too great for the government and organisers to be able guarantee the stadium would be ready in time. McCully also said there was an issue around finding enough accommodation for fans.
All the group fixtures will be moved to other venues while the two quarter-finals will be played in Auckland.
Group Games (venues TBC):
September 10 – Argentina v England
September 11 – Australia v Italy
September 18 – England v Georgia
September 25 – Argentina v Scotland
October 1 – Australia v Russia
Quarter-finals (moved to Auckland)
October 8 – Quarterfinal 2
October 9 – Quarterfinal 4