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Monday, March 21, 2011

RWC 2011: It's Official-No Games in Christchurch

It has been too long since my last posting. So much has happened in the past month...Christchurch has been burying its dead, US/French/British planes have been strafing Colonel Khadaffi's strongholds in Libya, continued strife and protests in the Arab world, and the horrific tsunami that struck the northeast part of the Japanese Island of Honshu on March 11th...

To be really honest, it has been tough to put myself in a mood to talk about rugby. It has not been for lack of effort on my part. I watched the Six Nations on TV and have been to numerous Dallas Harlequins games here in the Dallas area. The great thing about rugby is that even if you come to a new town, if you find rugby players and fans, you have an instant group of people with whom one can socialize.

Last week, the organizers for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand announced that it's official: All of the games in Christchurch will have to be moved. They are not sure where the games will go, but between damage to hotels, roads,  and stadium, it is just too much to ask that things would be ready in Christchurch to welcome all of the visitors who had been anticipated.

I am really, really sad about this development. I think this just rubs salt into the wounds of the people of Christchurch-I respect that the decision had to be made, but for the Canterbury region to miss out is just a crying shame.

I have tickets to Australia-Russia, which was to have been played in Christchurch. I am very curious which city will get the match now. I still have not made my travel plans yet-I am still trying to put together money for airfare for my wife and I to go. I would still like to make it to Christchurch, if nothing on the principle that the best foreign aid that I can give to New Zealand is to make it to Christchurch and have a few meals and beers.

As tough as it is to watch what is going on in the world,  I thank God that I can still watch rugby and hang out with people who enjoy the sport. It never ceases to amaze me of what a well-read, well-traveled and interesting group of people it is.  Rugby is a balm for the soul even in the worst of times.


  1. I wish to the Christchurch people and japanese people a speedy recovery. And here it´s a haka from Christchurch rugby team in my city (Madrid). That´s the soul of rugby.

  2. Nursedude - a shame you can't complete your trip as planned, Chch is a great town and would have been awesome for RWC. Hopefully the organizers can give you some certainty soon, if lucky you might get sunny Nelson or the Edinburgh of the south, Dunedin. Glad you are still intending to attend.