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Fingers crossed for Classic go-ahead

John Kane, president of the World Rugby Classic, remains optimistic the annual tournament will finally get underway tonight, although forecasters are predicting more high winds.

Organisers hoped this morning to start putting up the new hospitality tents brought into replace those damaged by gale force winds at the North Field at the weekend.

The two-day delay has seen Sunday’s scheduled matches between the All Blacks and USA, and the Lions against Italy, switched to tonight and all the other matches moved back a day.

Kane said yesterday: “Hopefully this blows through tonight and the winds will drop a bit. We will start getting the tents up very early tomorrow morning so we can get going tomorrow evening.

“We have two free days (today and Friday) and we will be using both of them.”

Meanwhile, companies with hospitality arranged for Sunday are likely to be moved to Friday and ones with tents scheduled for yesterday will move to today.

“We’ve got a lot of volunteers from the local clubs helping out and the visiting teams are actually going to come down tomorrow and help to this thing going,” added Kane.

“The suppliers have been great and everyone has gone that extra mile to make things work under adverse conditions.

“I think the players have been out playing golf and swimming believe it or not, but there you have it.”

With two days lost to bad weather, the first time that has happened in the 24-year history of the tournament, the games will be squeezed into the remaining five days with teams that make Saturday’s finals facing a particularly tough schedule.

Kane said Friday’s matches would be moved to late afternoon or earlier evening so not to clash with the Bermuda football team’s game against Barbados at the adjacent National Sport Centre.

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Published November 08, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 08, 2011 at 7:24 am)

Fingers crossed for Classic go-ahead

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