Thousands of holidaymakers heading to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup later this year will be forced to rearrange plans after a number of matches were rescheduled.
Officials at the tournament were forced to take action following a devastating earthquake in Christchurch in February.
In total five group matches will be moved, with three remaining on the South Island.
Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill will each host an additional match, with the remaining two to be held in Wellington and North Harbour on Auckland’s North Shore.
The two quarter-finals, due to be played in Christchurch on October 8th and 9th, will be played at Eden Park in Auckland.
The rescheduled matches mean Argentina will play England in Dunedin on September 10th, Australia take on Italy at North Harbour, Auckland on September 11th, England face Georgia in Dunedin on September 18th, Argentina play Scotland in Wellington on September 25th and Australia play Russia in Nelson on October 1st.
As part of the rescheduling, one non-Christchurch match, Scotland against Georgia, will be moved from Dunedin to Invercargill on September 14th, for operational reasons.
“Following the difficult decision to transfer the Christchurch matches, all involved have worked hard to confirm the new venues as quickly as possible,” said Rugby World Cup chairman, Bernard Lapasset.
“We are pleased that three of the five matches will remain in the South Island.”
Organisers have said that ticket purchasers for all Christchurch matches and Scotland’s game against Georgia will receive a refund and the opportunity to secure replacement tickets to the rescheduled matches during a priority purchase period.