By Tom Degun

Jacques Rogge_with_New_Zealand_PM_John_Key_October_19_2011October 19 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge has arrived in New Zealand ahead of the centenary celebrations of the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) tomorrow and the Rugby World Cup final on Sunday (October 23).

Rogge arrived in New Zealand from Mexico, having attended the start of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, and is joined in the country by several other IOC members, including Australia's Kevan Gosper and John Coates, Japan's Chiharu Igaya, Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia, Robin Mitchell of Fiji and Prince Albert of Monaco.

The eight IOC members are in the country in addition to New Zealand's own IOC members Barbara Kendall and Barry Maister.

Rogge, a former member of the Belgian national rugby team, will use the visit to New Zealand to discuss the introduction of rugby sevens to the Olympic programme for Rio 2016 with Government and rugby officials.

The IOC President will also attend an exhibition Olympic rugby sevens game as part of NZOC centenary celebrations while he will open a new National Training Centre for High Performance Sport shortly before the start of the World Cup final.

At the final, between the hosts and France, Rogge will be a guest of the International Rugby Board Council (IRB) chairman Bernand Lapasset.

Having served a four-year term, Lapasset was due for re-election for the position today where he faced stiff opposition from current IRB vice-chairman Bill Beaumont of England.

But IRB made a late decision to defer the election of the chairman until the IRB Annual Meeting of Council in December so that the contest did notovershadow the World Cup final – the sport's showpiece event.

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