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The first Rugby World Cup team will arrive in Queenstown this afternoon. The Irish team will arrive in the resort at 3pm today, to be greeted by 200 school children from around the Central Otago and Lakes districts.
The Irish team initially committed itself only to the airport welcome and a formal, invitation-only civic welcome at the Skyline on Sunday. However, RWC co-ordinator Jono Sutherland said the Irish team would also attend an open training session at the Queenstown Events Centre on Sunday, from 1.15pm to 3.15pm.
The Georgian team had agreed to an airport welcome on Monday, two open training sessions and a visit to Wanaka; the English side would visit Arrowtown Primary School and Wakatipu High School as well as hold a skills session with the Wakatipu rugby team; and the Romanian team would hold two public training sessions and players would visit Remarkables Primary, KingsView School, Queenstown Primary and St Joseph's.
Mr Sutherland said every school-aged child in the Lakes district would have the opportunity to meet a RWC 2011 player.
"That's not only fantastic but incredibly generous."
However, given the focus was on training for the tournament, community events could be subject to change or cancellation.
"The intention is to make these opportunities available but on the basis that things can change at short notice," Mr Sutherland said.