Finally, the Rugby World Cup 2011 has begun. Rugby fans from all over the world have been waiting for this moment for four long years. Especially New Zealand fans where biding for the event after the All Blacks had deceived their expectations during the French edition of 2007. Now that the competition came to New Zealand, the Kiwis – this is how people from New Zealand are called – who are by many considered the strongest rugby national team around, are looking for revenge and for winning their second rugby world cup. In fact, strange as it is, the All Blacks haven’t won it ever since its first edition in 1987. As usual, NZ is the favourite team to win the 2011 Rugby World Cup, even more since they play at home.

Living in European, this means waking up very early in the morning if you want to watch the first match of the day live. Located pretty much on the opposite side of the globe, there are 10 hours difference with the Central European Time Zone and even 11 hours with Greenwich. In my case, this caused my alarm to ring at 5:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, for example. But what wouldn’t a rugby fan do for a good dose of excellent rugby?

The first matches have been played now, revealing the usual supremacy of the Southern Hemisphere teams, namely the All Blacks, whose name derives from their black outfits, the Wallabies (Australia), who can count on a young yet experienced team with very talented young players and the Spring Bocks (South Africa), who won’t be easy to beat, too. The other teams that strive for the title are Wales, France and England for Europe, and Argentina that has proven to be a top team as well during their first world cup match against Wilkinson & Co., although losing after leading for about 60 minutes.

For the luckiest of the rugby fans, who could fly over to New Zealand for the world cup, this is also a great chance to visit this extraordinary country, which is a fantastic experience for everybody, rugby fan or not.

During the next 6 weeks, we will see who will finally make it, but what’s sure is that there is a whole lot of excellent rugby waiting for us out there… Enjoy!