18.11.2010 New Zealand

New Zealand is a beautiful country with a breathtaking landscape — one that is sure to make the Rugby World Cup (RWC) in 2011 one heck of a show. As part of the country’s preparations for the big sporting event, New Zealand’s prime minister already has celebrated the year countdown by putting the Webb Ellis Cup on display for the public at the National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. This is the trophy that all the teams are fighting for and many people will be coming out to catch a glimpse.

The event’s organizers also have reopened Eden Park to officially mark the countdown. It’s an exciting time to be in New Zealand as the celebrations are just beginning. As the Rugby World Cup gets closer, there will be a lot more going on. With the REAL New Zealand Festival set to happen and New Zealand’s best on display, it really is a special time to visit New Zealand.

“Next year, in a little over ten months, we open our arms to the world,” says Martin Snedden, CEO for tournament organizer Rugby New Zealand 2011. “Thousands of visitors will arrive to enjoy a special time at our place, a feast of great rugby and a wonderful array of events up and down the country as part of the REAL New Zealand Festival.

“This will be a priceless opportunity to showcase what we do best to the world,” Snedden adds. “I am sure our stadium of four million great fans and great hosts will make this a special moment in our history and a memorable time for our overseas guests. The clock is ticking, there is much still to be done, but we remain on track to stage a fantastic tournament and a wonderful celebration of our country.”

With just under 300 days left before the Rugby World Cup, the battle for the final place at the world cup has come down to Uruguay and Romania. They both will have to wait to see who qualifies after they drew 21-21 in Montevideo. The second leg is in Bucharest on Nov. 27 with the winner on aggregate joining Argentina, England, Scotland and Georgia in Pool B.

The qualification process began in Grand Cayman in April 2008; already qualified are Canada, Samoa, USA, Namibia, Georgia, Russia and Japan. A total of 184 matches will have been played in total, involving 80 nations across five continents.

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