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Christchurch loses World Cup games

England and Scotland have acknowledged that Rugby World Cup organisers had no choice but to take the tough decision and move all matches away from Christchurch.

Martin Johnson's side were due to be based in the earthquake-hit city, which is steeped in rugby tradition and had originally been slated to stage a total of seven |fixtures.

England were to open their campaign against Argentina in Christchurch on September 10 and play Georgia there eight days later. Scotland had been scheduled to play Argentina in the city on September 25 while Australia had games in Christchurch against Italy and Russia.

The two quarter-finals originally scheduled for Christchurch's AMI Stadium, damaged in the February 22 earthquake, have been moved to Auckland.

England and Scotland are awaiting further details about where their pool matches will be played. Rugby World Cup organisers want to keep three of the five games on the south island.

“We feel for the people of Christchurch who are still suffering following the tragic earthquake,” Johnson said.

Belfast Telegraph


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