IRB confirms bids for 2011

2004-10-01 14:04

Johannesburg - The International Rugby Board on Friday confirmed that three countries - including South Africa - had submitted proposals to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

South Africa, will face stiff opposition from New Zealand and Japan as they attempt to become the first country to have hosted the quadrennial event twice.

South Africa staged the event in 1995, while New Zealand was home of the inaugural tournament in 1987. Both countries won on home soil and have endured some agonising years since, watching as Australia (1991 and 1999) and now England (2003) have lifted the coveted William Webb Ellis trophy.

Japan, meanwhile, has never hosted the event and the IRB will carefully consider whether a traditional rugby powerhouse should be the next host or whether the claims of the Far East can be ignored.

"The IRB confirms that expressions of interest in respect of the hosting rights for RWC 2011 have been received from three countries - New Zealand, South Africa and Japan," the IRB said in statement.

Mike Miller, Managing Director of RWCL, said: "It is very encouraging that three of our member Unions have shown an interest in hosting the world's premier rugby event, and it reflects the growth in popularity of the game world wide."

The South African Bid, led by World Cup-winning captain Francois Pienaar, is still to receive government backing but the infrastructure from the 2010 Soccer World Cup could count in their favour.

The final decision on the hosting arrangements for 2011 will be made by the IRB Council in November 2005.

The timelines are as follows:

  • November 2004 - Minimum criteria for hosting the tournament approved.

    November 2004 - Tender documents sent to the three interested unions.

  • January 2005 - Confirmation of interest from the unions following their review of the tender documents.

  • May 2005 - Formal submission of tenders

  • November 2005 - IRB Council decision on host union for RWC 2011