Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Sport and Recreation Minister Murray McCully today welcomed the announcement that New Zealand will host the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship.
The annual event, to be held in Auckland in June 2014, was announced by the International Rugby Board this morning.
“The Junior World Championship is widely acknowledged as the second-most important rugby competition after the Rugby World Cup,” Mr Joyce says.
“With 11 of the top under-20 teams and their supporters coming to New Zealand, the event is expected to bring in around $8 million in economic benefits.”
The Government is supporting the event with a capped investment of $1.45 million from the Major Events Development Fund. This is matched by a contribution from Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development. The championship this year in South Africa was televised by 17 broadcasters across 127 countries.
Mr McCully says the IRB Junior World Championship has been a breeding ground for future stars of the game and is growing in popularity.
“Of the current All Black squad in Europe, seven have played in this under-20 tournament in recent years including Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith and Julian Savea,” Mr McCully says.
“The 2011 Rugby World Cup established New Zealand’s reputation as a successful event-hosting nation. The IRB Junior World Championship joins a list of upcoming major events, including the 2015 Cricket World Cup and 2015 FIFA U20 Men’s World Cup.”