17 Mar 2011

Auckland likely new world cup base for Wallabies

6:47 am on 17 March 2011

Auckland looms as the Wallabies' new Rugby World Cup base now that earthquake-ravaged Christchurch has been abandonned as a tournament venue.

World Cup organisers yesterday made the logical but difficult decision to move all seven matches, which included two quarter-finals, scheduled for Christchurch, and the Wallabies had been booked for a 19-day stay in the city during the preliminary stage of the tournament.

The Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who was in Christchurch earlier this week, says the decision is understandable and he's now awaiting further information regarding new venues and accommodation options.

The organising committee's chief executive Martin Snedden has indicated two of the five Christchurch pool matches are likely to be shifted to the North Island, with the other three to be shared in Dunedin, Nelson and Invercargill.

Auckland, which has also picked up the two quarter-finals moved from Christchurch is best equipped to accommodate Australian supporters.

Ticket-holders for matches in Christchurch will be offered refunds or tickets to re-allocated matches.