Inspired and unified
It's now just over a week since the All Blacks were crowned Rugby World Cup 2011 champions. The nail-biting victory over the French was the culmination of a very special time for the team, for the sport and for our country.
And when the greatest of sceptics - the world's media - say "you nailed it" and are asking "when can we come again?" - you know it's been a spectacular success.
Last week I reread the document we submitted to the IRB in 2005 to host the tournament. It is remarkable that even given the natural disasters and world economic crisis we had to contend with, we still managed to deliver on everything we said we would. From delivering a player-focused tournament, providing great facilities and selling $269 million worth of tickets; it all lines up with our original proposal.
I hope you enjoyed this incredible ride as much as we have.
Sharing the Webb Ellis Cup
The celebrations around the country that greeted the team's win were immense. We've had messages of congratulations from a huge number of people from all over the world. The US Ambassador to New Zealand and even Her Majesty The Queen have sent their best wishes to the team.
The support the All Blacks received at public parades in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington was simply incredible and I'm not surprised by estimates that close to half a million New Zealanders turned out to celebrate the team's achievements. It was testament to the high regard the team are held that up to 150,000 Wellingtonians braved the wet weather to welcome the side to the capital city.
It would have been great to get the players around to other centres to share the success wider, but as I’m sure people appreciate, the practicalities of that were daunting and it really was time to let the players return to their family and friends. It's been a long campaign.
As guardians of the Webb Ellis Cup, and not forgetting the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup, we are looking at ways to share our team's success with as many people as possible. We are also very focused on ensuring we capitalise on this achievement for the future benefit of our game. This will include in February and March taking the Cups on the road to support our drive for registrations for the coming season.
We'll keep you posted as we develop and execute this plan.
On behalf of the team and everyone at the NZRU; thanks for your massive support of the team. And most of all, thanks for making this one of the most memorable moments in our country's history.
Comments (0 Comments)