Team hosting arrangements for the 2011 Rugby World Cup were announced this morning, with 23 centres around the country selected to host at least one team for the tournament.
The centres - 16 in the North Island and seven in the South Island - will host at least one of the 20 participating teams.
"Today's announcement is particularly exciting for many smaller centres which applied to host teams outside the 13 match venues already named," says Rugby New Zealand Ltd 2011 CEO Martin Snedden.
The 13 main centres were announced were Whangarei, North Shore, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.
Ten additional centres have been selected: Bay of Islands, Rodney, Tauranga/Mt Maunganui, Taupo, Gisborne, Wanganui, Masterton, Blenheim, Ashburton and Queenstown.
"We have said all along that we wanted as many communities as reasonably possible to get a first hand taste of this exciting tournament.
"Teams will be able to experience more of New Zealand's rich culture and spectacular scenery and these hosting communities will be able to showcase themselves, their hospitality and attractions to the world," says Mr Snedden.
Auckland will host eight teams; New Zealand, Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji will stay in Auckland for five pool matches.
Auckland will also host the final, semi-final and bronze final, with the rest of the pool matches due to be announced at 12pm today.
Teams will use a total of 47 training grounds across the country for the duration the world cup.
It will be a mixture of rugby club, school and public training facilities.
Mr Snedden says it will help many communities get even closer to rugby's showpiece tournament as well as giving teams an "outstanding platform for their preparations".
Teams will also train at several schools such as Southland Boy's High, Christ's College, New Plymouth Boy's High and Rotorua Boy's High.
Teams will also train at Mt Smart Stadium during the knock-out stages.
The English team announced today where their matches will be held.
England will stay in Christchurch for the first 19 days of their campaign, arriving in New Zealand on August 31.
After their first two pool games against Argentina on September 10 and the qualifier from Europe 1 eight days later, they will travel to Queenstown for three days and then Dunedin for a further three days to prepare for the game against a play-off winner on September 24.
The squad will then spend seven days in Auckland ahead of their final pool match against Scotland on October 1.
Centres and training venues:
Bay of Islands: Kerikeri Sports Complex
Whangarei: Kensington Sports Complex (Marist RFC)
Rodney: Silverdale Rugby Club (Silverdale RFC)
North Shore: Onewa Domain (Takapuna RFC), North Harbour Stadium*
Auckland: Trusts Stadium (Waitakere RFC), Western Springs (Ponsonby RFC), Mt Smart Stadium, Lloyd Elsmore Park (Pakuranga RFC)
Hamilton: St Peter's College, St Paul's College
Tauranga / Mt Maunganui: Tauranga Domain, Bay Park Mt Maunganui
Rotorua: Rotorua Boys High School, Smallbone Cricket Oval
Taupo:Owen Delany Park
Gisborne: Rugby Park (Poverty Bay RFC)
Hawke's Bay: Napier City Rovers, Tremain Field (Marist Old Boys RFC)
Palmerston North: The Sports and Rugby Institute, Linton Army Base, Arena Manawatu (Manawatu RFC)
Wanganui: Cooks Gardens
New Plymouth: TET Stadium Inglewood (Inglewood United RFC), New Plymouth Boy's High School
Masterton: Soldiers and Cameron Memorial Park (Waiarapa Bush RFC)
Wellington: Rugby League Park, Newtown Park, Porirua Park (Norths RFC), Hutt Recreation Ground (Hutt Old Boys RFC)
Blenheim: Lansdowne Park (Marlborough RFC)
Nelson: Saxton Cricket Oval, Saxton Field
Christchurch: Christ's College, QEII Park, Rugby Park (Canterbury RFC), Linwood Rugby Club (Linwood RFC)
Ashburton: Ashburton Show Grounds
Dunedin: Caledonian Ground, University Oval (Otago RFC), Carisbrook
Queenstown: Queenstown Events Centre
Invercargill: Les George Oval (Southland RFC), Southland Boy's High School, Southland Stadium
Sourced from: The New Zealand HeraldReuse content