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Final Rugby World Cup 2011 Tickets Up For Grabs

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With 283 days left to go until Rugby World Cup 2011, tickets for the worlds biggest rugby event are about to go on general sale.

From 9am in New Zealand tomorrow (1 December 2010), rugby fans will be able to swoop in on the remainder of the prized match tickets on a first come, first served basis.

This is the fourth and final phase of the ticketing process which began in early 2010, and organisers have warned that fans will need to be quick as tickets for some matches are very limited.

While tickets are distributed by ballot in the earlier phases, the remaining unallocated tickets have been released for direct online sale.

The final ticket release coincides with confirmation of Romania as the 20th and final team to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2011. Romania defeated Uruguay 39 - 12 in the second leg of the final qualifying round, in Bucharest, on Saturday. As play-off winner, Romania will compete in a very tough Pool B against England, Argentina, Scotland and Georgia - playing matches in Invercargill, Dunedin and Palmerston North.

Qualification rounds for RWC 2011 involved 184 matches and 80 nations on five continents.

REAL New Zealand

Rugby World Cup will be the biggest event ever held in New Zealand and, as 2011 comes into sight, preparations for welcoming the expected 85,000 visitors are ramping up.

Rugby fans and their fellow travellers will be encouraged to take "the long way round" to discover New Zealand.

Up and down New Zealand, local communities are busy planning their involvement in REAL New Zealand - a nationwide festival that will run alongside the 48 rugby matches.

The REAL New Zealand festival is being promoted as a celebration of "everything that makes New Zealand great" - the best of Kiwi food, wine, culture, heritage, sports and nature - and the reason for visitors to plan much more than rugby time into their itineraries.

While big cities are busy erecting fan zones and non-stop festival activity, smaller centres - like the tiny Northland town of Waipū - also have plans to play their part in welcoming visitors for RWC 2011.

In Waipū, the locals plan to trade on their unique Scottish / Canadian heritage to attract rugby supporters to town.

Waipū (pop: 1,491) is north of Auckland and a 30-minute drive south of Whangarei - venue for two RWC 2011 matches. Teams from Canada, Tonga and Japan will spend time in Whangarei during the rugby tournament.

Some 150 years ago Waipū was settled by about 1,000 Scottish migrants, forced from their own country by the Highland Clearances. Before coming to New Zealand, they initially settled in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Waipū is planning to welcome Canadian supporters on 14 September when Canada plays Tonga in Whangarei.

Local identity Rosemary Neave says, like any good Waipū welcome, itll feature tartan, bagpipes and maybe even a bit of caber tossing.

RWC 2011 Ticketing Phases

Rugby World Cup 2011 offers a total capacity of 1.74 million tickets.

More than 500,000 fans from 85 countries bought Rugby World Cup Phase 1 tickets, which closed in May 2010.

Approximately 400,000 individual match tickets were made available in Phase 2 for all matches, except for the semi-finals and the final.

Rugby fans who have applied for both Phase 1 and 2 tickets are also automatically entered into a draw for the coveted Phase 3 semi- finals and final tickets.

Successful entries for Phase 3 will be announced in February 2011.

The IRB Rugby World Cup is one of the largest sports events in the world. The inaugural tournament took place in 1987 and it is held every four years. In 2007, the sixth tournament was held in France and enjoyed a cumulative worldwide broadcast audience of more than 4 billion.

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