Rugby World Cup recruitment drive on

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Queenstown locals keen to volunteer during the Rugby World Cup 2011 have been warned the work doesn’t involve watching games.

About 30 people showed up to a recruitment drive at Queenstown Events Centre last Wednesday for helpers during the rugby extravaganza starting in September next year.

A disappointing number for Rugby New Zealand 2011 volunteer programme manager Brendon Ward, who says about 50 volunteers are needed in the region.

The resort is hosting three international teams, including Ireland, England and a third country yet to be confirmed. No jobs in the area involve being at games, although with the size of the resort, Ward says workers may run into a few rugby stars.

There are a plethora of jobs to be filled, from assisting media, being a VIP host, front-line welcoming staff at the airport to driving cars.

Three days work is required from those willing to give their time, and in return volunteers receive training and a free uniform.

Queenstown salesman Matt Booth, 31, plans to put his hand up for a position. Being British and living in Queenstown, Booth says he regularly plays host to tourists anyway, but he isn’t fussy what role he fills.

“It’s about being involved,” Booth says.

A few facts:

– Four billion people world-wide watched the last Rugby World Cup on TV.
– 20,000 people including volunteers, police and emergency services will be involved in making the event happen
– 60,000 – 80,000 visitors are expected to New Zealand, and plenty of those are likely to come to Queenstown.