The preparations for the 2011 Rugby World Cup were put on hold on this day in rugby history when Christchurch, New Zealand was hit by 6.3 earthquake. The city was set to host seven matches which were ultimately moved to other venues.
“Yesterday we were informed by Stadium Christchurch operator Vbase that it could not guarantee that the extensive repairs required for both the stadium structures and the playing surface could be completed in time. That information means that Tournament partners have been left with no choice but to make the difficult decision to reallocate the seven matches due to be played in Christchurch.”
--- New Zealand went on to win the Rugby World Cup to give some cheer to the local fans. Get official gear of the All Blacks at the World Rugby Shop. ---
The quake was the most destructive to hit the island in 80 years killed 181 people and resulted in 1,200 buildings being torn down or condemned but could not dampen the spirits of New Zealanders or rugby fans around the globe.
Rugby matches were scheduled around the globe to raise money for disaster relief. And it forced the Super Rugby home team, Crusaders, to move their home fixtures which included the first Super Rugby game played outside of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia when they faced the Sharks at Twickenham in London.
"It's an iconic rugby stadium and it's sad to see it in this state," said England coach Martin Johnson, sighing, back at a venue he first visited as a newly arrived replacement on the 1993 Lions tour."
1976 - Faan Rautenbach, South African rugby player