Yeah… everyone had written us off. This is a massive upset – the bookies had Japan holding the event, and if not them, South Africa.
New Zealand Wins Vote to Host 2011 Rugby World Cup (Update2)
Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) — New Zealand upset Japan and South Africa to claim the right to stage the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the world’s third-biggest sports event by television audience.
New Zealand beat Japan, the bookmakers’ choice, in the final round of voting by the International Rugby Board council after South Africa was eliminated earlier today. The New Zealanders, who hosted and won the first World Cup in 1987, boast the world’s top-ranked national team and are the favorites to win the 2007 tournament in France.
“This is an enormous honor and a great privilege but also an enormous responsibility,” Jock Hobbs, chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union, told reporters in Dublin. “It’s a proud day to be a Kiwi.”
The 2003 event, which had 3.4 billion TV viewers, was worth $289 million to the Australian economy. About 20,000 British and Irish fans spent $82 million in New Zealand during June and July this year tracking the combined British Isles touring team, according to Auckland-based tourism consultant Horwath Asia Pacific Ltd. The World Cup comprises 20 countries, and included nations from Georgia to Uruguay two years ago.