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Last Updated: Friday, 13 May, 2005, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Three bids for 2011 World Cup
New Zealand
New Zealand face strong opposition from Japan
New Zealand, South Africa and Japan have been confirmed as the candidates to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Representatives of Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) will visit each country to review the bids in June and July.

A detailed report on the bids will then be prepared and the International Rugby Board will name the winner in November.

RWCL chairman Dr Syd Millar said: "I have the pleasure to announce that we have three excellent bids of substance and we're very pleased."

New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chairman Jock Hobbs said: "New Zealanders are passionate about their rugby."

We have given an undertaking to the IRB that our stadia will be clean
NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs

"While we are a small country, we make up for that in other ways - we are a stadium of four million people."

New Zealand had been due to co-host the 2003 World Cup with Australia, but failed because of their inability to produce the required stadia clean of all advertising and sponsorship not connected to the World Cup.

"The Joint Bid Office have done a considerable amount of work on this issue," Hobbs said. "It's all but done.

"There are some small pockets that still need to be dealt with, and I do emphasise small pockets.

"We're confident of working through those pockets and we have given an undertaking to the IRB that our stadia will be clean."

Hobbs also addressed the problem of a lack of a large national stadium by announcing that Eden Park in Auckland would be up-graded to meet the IRB's requirements.


SEE ALSO
Trio target 2011 Rugby World Cup
01 Feb 05 |  Lions in NZ
NZ plays down Japan joint Cup bid
13 Dec 04 |  Lions in NZ
Trio join World Cup race
01 Oct 04 |  Lions in NZ
South Africa eyes Cup bid
17 May 04 |  Lions in NZ


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