The recommendation from the Board of RWCL followed the refusal earlier this year by the New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRU) to accept the terms of the offer to host part of the Tournament. RWCL subsequently requested and received an alternative bid for sole Host Union status from the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).
Throughout its deliberations, the Council has been acutely aware of the implications for rugby wherever it is played and remains sensitive to the impact of this decision upon the game in New Zealand, but it was left with no alternative.
Generous accommodations made by RWCL to meet the needs and problems of the NZRU were repaid with consistent failures and wholly inappropriate behaviour. Despite this, the Council determined to give full and fair hearing to New Zealand's position and to its most recent submissions. However, the outstanding Australian proposal held an attraction, a professionalism and a logic which were irresistible.
The success and profile of Rugby World Cup are fundamental to the work of the IRB and in particular to its programmes of rugby development around the world. Today's decision brings both finality and certainty to the process, and will enable Rugby World Cup 2003 to achieve its goals.
There is little doubt that relationships have been damaged as a result of these unhappy events. The IRB now holds out the hope that all parties will accept the final outcome with dignity, and that the truly international spirit which cements the sport will quickly heal any wounds.
Despite drawing with Ireland in the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations, Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards believes the championship 'is still in our hands' as he prepares his side to face Scotland at Principality Stadium tomorrow.
Meet the members of the WRU's inaugural Youth Board - after an online selection process which saw a host of high calibre candidates submit video applications the WRU has made its first 15 appointments.The board is made up of individuals aged between 16 and 21, and will meet for the first time at Principality Stadium on Monday 15th February.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose