|Schools, rugby clubs, community groups and charities from around the Auckland region are preparing to host participating teams in the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 (JWC2014) as part of the Tournament’s commitment to ensuring a lasting legacy for the region.
More than 50 applications were received from various groups following a call from New Zealand Rugby and the International Rugby Board to host a visit from a #JWC2014 team.
The confirmed visits include a ‘Future Stars of World Rugby’ public appearance with Scotland, Fiji, New Zealand and Italy on 1 June as part of Queen’s Birthday on Queens Wharf, hosted by Small Blacks TV’s Nua Finau. The morning and afternoon events will feature fun activities with the teams, giveaways and opportunities for autographs.
Each of the twelve competing teams – Argentina, Australia, England, Italy, Fiji, France, Ireland, Wales, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand – will make at least three visits each to community groups during the tournament, which kicks off on Queen’s Birthday Monday 2 June and climaxes with the final on 20 June.
During the tournament the teams will visit schools throughout the region, spend time with charities Cure Kids, St John and Stand Children’s Services and check out some weekend rugby action. The teams are also taking some time out of their busy schedule to enjoy many of Auckland’s tourism activities, from jet boating, to cooking seafood and an America’s Cup Sailing experience.
The tournament – the second biggest fifteens event in world rugby – will feature 30 action-packed matches at QBE Stadium, North Harbour and ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe with the finals taking place at Eden Park.
Tournament Manager Dan Tatham said it was heartening to see the great interest across the region to host a #JWC2014 team.
“Having a visit from a participating team is not only a chance to meet some future rugby stars but also an opportunity to demonstrate once again what great hosts Kiwis are. The teams are going to places where they can connect with young people, share some rugby knowledge and learn about New Zealand.”
IRB Tournament Director Philippe Bourdarias said the teams were aware of the positive feedback from visiting teams at Rugby World Cup 2011 and were looking forward to seeing it for themselves.
“Providing a lasting legacy for the game is an important aspect of JWC 2014 and we’re delighted to see community groups embrace the opportunity to spend time with international teams.”
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says this is an excellent opportunity for Aucklanders to meet the future stars of world rugby.
“Major sporting events like this play an important role in helping to transform a city and connecting with communities at a grassroots level is a key contributor to this.”
Legacy Community Visit Schedule