0 Hard work at "Grassroots" ahead of RWC

There's been a lot of hard work at what you could call the "grass roots" level of Rugby World Cup 2011. Groundsmen across the country have been busy preparing the playing surfaces.Rugby World Cup 2011

The turf manager at Nelson's Trafalgar Park is Peter Gray, and he says the weather's a huge factor in what they do. "We've all struggled with pretty cold conditions and lack of growth so I think all groundsmen around the country, we're all looking to the sky and enjoying some sun," he says.

Mr Gray says a bit of rain at night wouldn't go amiss either. He says the teams are training on other grounds around Nelson so the team are preparing those fields as well.

Spectacular Eden Park Opening Ceremony set to kick-off Tournament
• Key role for New Zealand sporting legend
• Fans urged to be in seats by 7pm
• 4,000 tickets still available
• NZ broadcasters Petra Bagust and Jeremy Corbett to warm up crowd

Tournament Organisers for Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) today unveiled some key elements of the Opening Ceremony which will kick-off the seventh Rugby World Cup at 7.30pm (NZT) on Friday, September 9, including a key role for a New Zealand sports star.

"We promise all fans, at Eden Park, and those watching from afar, a night to remember. "It is the perfect double bill - a spectacular Opening Ceremony, the likes of which New Zealand sports fans will not have experienced in this country, coupled with two great Pacific nations kicking off Rugby's showpiece Tournament."

Host nation New Zealand plays Tonga in the opening match which starts at 8.30pm (NZT).

The 30 minute ceremony will tell the story of New Zealand and its unique place in the Pacific and represent the coming together of countries from around the world in New Zealand in pursuit of Rugby's greatest prize.

"The ceremony has also been masterminded by one of the world's best live event companies, David Atkins Enterprises (DAE), which has staged many other spectacular opening events such as the Vancouver Winter Olympics and Sydney Olympic Games so fans are in for a special night.

The RWC 2011 Opening Ceremony - some facts

• Start time: 7.30pm Friday 9 September
• Pre-show start time: 7.00pm
• Duration: 30 minutes
• 1,000 performers
• 200 back stage production crew
• 200 back stage support volunteers
• 400 performers to sing World in Union
• 8,000 blades of flax harvested and 9.5kms of silk to be used in costumes
• During rehearsals, performers and crew consumed:
o 13,122 muesli bars
o 5,740 litres of water
o 5,636 hot drinks

home.nzcity.co.nz & visit www.rugbyworldcup.com

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