Get Ready for the Rugby World Cup

With the Cricket World Cup done, perhaps it’s time to start setting our collective sights on the Rugby World Cup, to be hosted by New Zealand from 9 September to 23 October this year.

And if “New Zealand” still sounds like a swear word to you sports-loving South Africans, be assured you WILL get over it by the time the Rugby World Cup rolls around, and the country is well worth visiting!

Below is a breakdown of all the important world cup info you’ll need to plan your trip, including rugby pools, host cities, accommodation information and the best travel money options available.

Host Cities

The cities playing host to RWC games are as follows:

  • Whangarei
  • Auckland
  • Hamilton
  • Rotorua
  • New Plymouth
  • Napier
  • Palmerston North
  • Wellington
  • Nelson
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin
  • Invercargill

Auckland’s Eden Park Stadium will be the venue for the opening match between New Zealand and Tonga, on Friday the 9th of September and will also host a further 8 matches, including two semi-final games and the final on Sunday the 23rd of October.

The Pools

There are four pools in Tournament, each with 5 teams in. This is the breakdown:

Pool A

  • New Zealand
  • Tonga
  • France
  • Canada
  • Japan

Pool B

  • Argentina
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Georgia
  • Romania

Pool C

  • Australia
  • Ireland
  • Russia
  • USA
  • Italy

Pool D

  • South Africa
  • Wales
  • Fiji
  • Samoa
  • Namibia


Rugby Travel & Hospitality was appointed to create an Official Travel & Hospitality Programme for RWC 2011. All details of travel agents authorised to sell ticket-inclusive travel packages can be found at

If you’ve already secured your Rugby tickets and simply need accommodation, visit for a vast amount of options to suit every need and budget.

Real New Zealand Festival

New Zealand has been planning their World Cup festivities for many years now and you can look forward to much more than just rugby if you plan to visit. For the duration of the World Cup, New Zealand will also be hosting a fantastic festival of the arts, food and wine, heritage, culture, entertainment, business and lifestyle – everything that makes the Kiwis unique!

For more information about the Real Festival, visit


Visitors from many countries, including South Africa, Italy, Spain and the USA do not need a visa to visit New Zealand for the duration of the Rugby World Cup. You will however need to prove that you have sufficient funds for your stay and that you have a ticket out of the country.

UK citizens and other British passport holders who can show evidence of their right to reside permanently in the UK may also enter New Zealand for a short stay without a visa. The same applies for Australian citizens and those who have permanent residence in Australia.

Travel Money

1st Contact’s Travel Money Exchange service allows you to buy travel money super easily and best of all – secure the best travel money rates. Simply visit and secure your exchange rate online and select your travel cash in New Zealand Dollars. The 1st Contact solution is 100% transparent, so the rate you see online when you purchase is the rate you get – no surprises, no fees and no commissions!

If you’re convinced that the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand is a must-do for you, start planning (and saving now) so that when the time comes all that’s left for you to do is get there and enjoy yourself!