ARU Congratulates NZ but voted for Japan

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has congratulated New Zealand on winning the right to host Rugby World Cup 2011 and believes the Kiwis will host an excellent tournament.


New Zealand’s successful bid emerged at today’s IRB Council meeting in Dublin.


However, the ARU has revealed it supported the Japanese bid in the interests of growing the game globally.


ARU Managing Director Gary Flowers believes world Rugby has missed an opportunity by not taking the Tournament to Asia.


“I’ve got no doubt New Zealand will put on a first-rate World Cup,” he said.


“It will mean a lot to their country, but foremost thinking in our mind was the global growth of the game.


“I think in the short-term, obviously an opportunity’s been missed but the fact Japan polled so strongly, it’s given them a good impetus in the future.”


Flowers said the fact Japan boasts the second largest economy in the world, is the fifth-largest country in rugby player numbers and Asia represented 60 per cent of this planet’s population, also was reason enough to get behind the bid.


“That was very much in our thinking in terms that World Cup is the jewel in the crown of rugby and it was a good opportunity to grow our game,” he said.


“It may be a missed opportunity but that’s the way the votes fell.”


Mr Flowers revealed that Australia voted for Japan in both rounds. He said the ARU was mindful of its close ties with both New Zealand and South Africa when opting to support Japan

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