Monday, June 27, 2011

S'pore to get Rugby Village

SINGAPORE: Singapore will soon get a taste of the culture and spirit of the 2011 Rugby World Cup hosted by New Zealand.

The Rugby Village 2011 concept will see ex-Kiwi stars such as Jonah Lomu possibly as part of the attraction.

Earlier in June, former England international Gareth Chilcott and Australia's Simon Poidevin, who played for the Wallabies in the 80s, visited Turf City in Singapore to drum up support for the upcoming Rugby World Cup Village 2011.

When completed, the village will feature live screenings of matches, where fans can gather to cheer their favourite teams, with food and beverage and entertainment thrown in.

Chilcott, who gave the Village concept the thumbs-up, thinks England can repeat their title-winning run of 2003 in Australia despite the event being staged in the Southern Hemisphere.

"England is a very good side at the moment. They have got a right mixture of older ones, some youngsters coming through (including) Ben Foden, Chris Ashton, and Ben Youngs. These young players have made Martin Jonhson (the coach) think again," he said.

However, Poidevin, said he feels New Zealand -- winners of the first edition in 1987 -- are still favourites to lift the title at home.

"New Zealand's got so much to play for, 1987 is a long time ago," Poidevin said.

"Historically, they have been the strongest rugby nation in the world, and they are playing in a country which has had a huge (earthquake) in Christchurch, so that's lots of motivation for the players."

Like Poidevin and Chilcott, more big name ex-players are being lined up for the Rugby Village.

Organisers of the Rugby Village 2011 are currently looking at securing a site for the village, which is likely to be around the Marina Bay area.

It will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 people and activities at the village will start even before the World Cup kicks off in September.


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