Rumours are surfacing in the rugby world that the New Zealand Rugby Union may take extraordinary measures to ensure the host nation wins this year's World Cup.
Information has come to light that senior officials within the union have 'strongly implied' to Rugby World Cup organisers that if New Zealand are eliminated from the World Cup prior to the final the NZRU may give compassionate leave to all its employees and officials; thus rendering the continuation of the tournament an impossibility.
The 'threats' are believed to be a desperate attempt to lower the possibility of the All Blacks once again failing to grasp rugby's Holy Grail. New Zealand have been favourites in every World Cup since their only success in the inaugural tournament in 1987 (also held on home soil) yet have become known as 'chokers'. Five consecutive failures at the showpiece event appear to have led some rogue factions in the NZRU to consider dubious methods to increase the chances of victory for the Kiwis.
It is thought that the NZRU are contemplating granting all administrative staff, officials, stadium stewards and committee members one to two weeks leave (to be taken immediately) if New Zealand are knocked out of the World Cup.
The NZRU will claim this is to make sure the 'passionate and committed' New Zealand public has a chance to come to terms with any failure by the All Blacks in the tournament. Kiwi officials are believed to be citing past instances where New Zealand's losses in the World Cup have been accompanied by increased violence, drinking and depression in society. In a country obsessed with rugby the team's shortcomings are often discussed in the nation's parliament and some even claim it has an adverse effect on the economy.
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