Christophe Ena/AP/Press Association Images The deadline has been extended until Sunday to give people more time to volunteer.

Volunteers debacle puts World Cup opening ceremony plans in jeopardy

Only half of the 1500 people needed have volunteered for the event.

FANCY PARTAKING IN the opening ceremony for the 2011 Rugby World Cup?

Plans for the ceremony have been hit, as organisers are currently encountering difficulties obtaining the required number of volunteers for the event, it has been revealed, with only half of the necessary 1500 people onboard.

In order to compensate for the lack of volunteers, the deadline has been extended until Sunday.

Organisers are looking for people of all “shapes, sizes and experiences,” but noted that one group in particular – “true blue rugby men” – would be welcomed.

Part of the reason for people’s hesitance may be due to the considerable commitment needed to partake in the event, with organisers warning that participants “may need to arrange time off from your job or school programme”.

The statement added that rehersals would last “up to two times a week from mid July to mid August 2011” and “up to 4 times a week thereafter”.

The Rugby World Cup begins on 9 September and will finish on 23 October.

The All Blacks won the World Cup the last time they hosted it at the inaugral event in 1987, but have failed to win it since.

They are routinely criticised by rugby fans for their tendency to crumble in big matches, despite often being regarded as favourites prior to each tournament.

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