Forget about the stadium of four million people, the next major rugby championship to be staged in New Zealand will place all the pressure on fickle Aucklanders to fill the seats.
The International Rugby Board yesterday announced New Zealand will host the 2014 Junior World Championships, with Italy granted the 2015 rights.
The matches here, involving 12 teams, will be played in June and all will be in the greater Auckland area.
North Harbour Stadium in Albany and the ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe have been confirmed, with hopes that Eden Park could be used for the final.
The tournament will be run by the NZRU, with the assistance of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed), local provincial unions and stadium operators.
Ateed will invest $1.45 million from its major events fund, matching the Government's capped contribution for an event which an independent consultancy expects to inject $7.3 million to the Auckland region's GDP.
For a tournament that New Zealand has dominated, this is the first time it will be hosted here.
New Zealand won the first four editions of the tournament before losing this year's final to the Junior Springboks in South Africa.
They will be keen to regain the trophy in France next year, to defend it on home soil.
- Fairfax Media
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