Rugby World Cup France 2007

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

New Zealand boss to spend millions for the World Cup title

New Zealand Rugby Union president Chris Moller announced yesterday they would spend "between $2 to $3 million" helping the All Blacks get the crown of the World Cup France 2007.

Indeed, breaking the 20-year drought that stretches back to when the All Blacks won the inaugural tournament in New Zealand in 1987, was their first priority.

Actually it is the Rugby World Cup that is the topic on every All Blacks fan's lips despite the Super 14 set to kick off tonight with most nervously hoping the All Blacks can carry their sensational form of 2005 and last year through to the final on October 20.

As we know, the New Zealand Rugby Union nailed its colours to the World Cup mast last year when it sanctioned coach Graham Henry's request to keep 22 All Blacks out of the first half of the Super 14 for conditioning.

TV broadcaster News Ltd threw a fit and fans may yet show their disgust by voting with their feet. Despite that, Moller makes no excuse for trying to leave no stone unturned in the quest to win the Webb Ellis Cup.

"Our number one priority is winning this rugby World Cup. There is no debate about that. It was our priority in 2003 and we didn't deliver."

That's why Moller conceded some believe there is an overemphasis on the World Cup within the NZRU. But he was unrepentant as he confirmed planning had been under way since mid-2005 for a successful campaign.

"Our research clearly shows that the single most important thing to rugby fans in New Zealand is winning the Webb Ellis trophy. Our research says almost nothing else is important."

But that's not it: within the NZRU that desire had been further heightened by the successful event in November 2005 that gave them the right to host the 2011 tournament in New Zealand.

"We would really like to win so we can defend it in New Zealand in 2011," Moller expressed.