Expatriate Canadians and expatriate Tongans are unfolding the flags of their home countries as news that these countries are headed to Northland for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
Canada, Tonga and most likely Japan, are going to be based in the Bay of Islands and Whangarei for the cup, it was recently announced. Just minutes after the announcement was made, expatriates from both Tonga and Canada were gearing up the celebrations.
Calvin Green, the owner of the Classics in the Civic Arcade in Whangarei recalls his first encounter with the Canadian team in 1987 in Okara Park, warming up for the Rugby World Cup that year. He said, “I was manager of Okara Park at the time and the Canadians were playing the All Black trial team.” Upon meeting and shaking the hands of Peter Jones and Zinzan Brooke, Calvin Green has this to say, “You see them on the field but you don’t appreciate the size of the men, and shaking their hands I realized the surprisingly large size of their mitts.”
Following a number of months of speculation about how many teams would participate in the Rugby World Cup in 2011, the IRB finally announced that there would in fact be twenty teams featured in the games. Preparations are well underway for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in Northland and all is running like clockwork. Last year, the International Rugby Board chief executive and chairman gave New Zealand an A+ for the progress that they have made in implementing plans and preparing for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The 2011 Rugby World Cup is estimated to cost around NZ$310 million to manage and will produce NZ$280 million, just in ticket sales alone. The 2011 Rugby World Cup is going to be the biggest sporting event to ever take place in New Zealand, which eclipses the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, 2003 America’s Cup, 1990 Commonwealth Games and 1987 Rugby World Cup. At least seventy thousand visitors from all around the world are expected to come to New Zealand because of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.