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SPORTS
09 Sep 2011
RUGBY WORLD CUP OPENS IN NEW ZEALAND

The Rugby World Cup has officially opened in New Zealand, described by Prime Minister John Key as the biggest event his country has staged.

Tens of thousands of rugby fans descended on Auckland for the glittering opening ceremony.

The first match between the All Blacks and Tonga then kicked off at Eden Park, with the hosts trouncing Tonga 41-10.

Matches will be held at stadia across the country except in Christchurch, devastated by the 22 February quake.

"It's incredibly exciting," Mr Key said as he went to Eden Park.

"New Zealand's done everything it can to be prepared, there's a really friendly atmosphere out there and people are loving what's going on."

The six-week World Cup event is the first in New Zealand since the inaugural tournament in 1987 - the last time the All Blacks won the title.

In Auckland, huge crowds gathered along the waterfront to watch events on big screens, many waving flags and dressed in the colours of the national team.


sOURCE: bbc.co.uk

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