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2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand scores financially

THE 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand is set to become the second-most financially successful event in the tournament's 25-year history, despite the global economic situation.

The International Rugby Board have announced the World Cup is on track to achieve a net surplus of £90million, £10m above what was originally forecast.

The tournament attracted gross commercial revenues of £142m, which were within 3% cent of the total achieved for the record-breaking 2007 World Cup in France.

The World Cup is the IRB's single biggest revenue raiser and the world governing body are committed to investing £150m across all 117 member unions up to 2015.

The IRB will help deliver a full schedule of June tournaments and November Tests for tier two nations and invest £6.3m to assist's Argentina's entry into the Rugby Championship.

"These excellent results represent a strong endorsement of the Rugby World Cup brand and rugby brands generally in the global commercial marketplace," said Rugby World Cup Ltd chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"This is particularly encouraging given that Rugby World Cup 2007 was hosted at the height of the global economic boom, while Rugby World Cup 2011 was hosted amidst an uncertain economic climate in a smaller domestic marketplace and in a non-European time zone.

"The game is currently in excellent health, we now have 5.5 million men, women and children playing in more countries than ever before and there is no doubt that the success of Rugby World Cup has been a major contributing factor to this growth."

New Zealand sold 1.35m tickets to pass their £140m target and more than 133,000 supporters travelled into New Zealand, nearly double the original forecast.

The tournament is estimated to have boosted economic activity in New Zealand by more than £260m.