Christchurch Earthquake

Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) CEO Martin Snedden expressed sympathy to the people of Christchurch as the city deals with the aftermath of Monday's devastating earthquake.


"Our thoughts are very much with the people of Christchurch during this very sad and difficult time. There are many in our broader Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) family working within the council, VBase, Canterbury Rugby Union, tourism and business organisations and other agencies who have been affected by this and we feel for them.


"It is too early to talk in any detail about implications for the Tournament in Christchurch and any assessment by us must wait while the rescue efforts take priority.


"The next step will involve our organisation leading a thorough process of assessing the city's ability to host the seven RWC 2011 matches scheduled to take place there. This will involve an assessment of all the key RWC 2011 infrastructure of the city including the stadium, hotels, training facilities and the transport network.


"A detailed evaluation of this nature will take place as soon as is reasonably possible. We are mindful of the pressure the people of Christchurch are under right now and do not want to place any more demands on them.


"Christchurch is a proud Rugby city with a rich Rugby heritage and we know the Tournament means a lot to fans there.


"We are hopeful a clearer picture will emerge in the coming days to allow us to make the right decisions.


"There has been speculation that this tragedy puts the entire event in jeopardy or that matches will relocate to Australia. That is not the case.


"Rest assured, RWC 2011 will proceed and all matches will take place in New Zealand."