2011 quarter-final venues unveiled

New Zealand’s three biggest cities will share the knock-out stages of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Wellington and Christchurch would each host two quarter-finals while the playoff for third and fourth place would be held in Auckland, organising body Rugby New Zealand 2011 said.

It was previously announced that both the semi-finals and final would be played in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.

“Each region has shown a strong desire to help us deliver a world class tournament and also to deliver a memorable national Rugby World Cup festival,” RNZ 2011 Chief Executive Martin Snedden said in a statement.

Auckland’s Eden Park, which hosted the first World Cup final in 1987, is undergoing a NZ$241 million ($165 million) refurbishment that will see its capacity boosted to 60,000 as part of a government-backed tournament programme.

Wellington’s nine-year-old Westpac Stadium can seat 39,500 people while Christchurch is redeveloping its AMI Stadium to have a capacity of 41,000 in time for 2011.

The tournament will be held in September and October 2011, with the final scheduled for the weekend of October 22-23.