Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

All Blacks v France: Auckland ready for biggest party

Huge crowds assemble on Quay Street during the Rugby World Cup opening night. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Huge crowds assemble on Quay Street during the Rugby World Cup opening night. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Auckland is gearing up for fans to paint it black on Sunday for the Rugby World Cup final- and plans are in place to avoid a repeat of the chaotic cup opening night.

With new and expanded areas for fans on Auckland's waterfront, more police and security, extended transport services and a star-studded line-up of entertainers at suburban fan zones, authorities and organisers are expecting smooth sailing for the Rugby World Cup final.

Eden Park will be full to its 61,000-seat capacity and will be patrolled by 245 police officers and security staff. Around 50,000 people are also expected to join the party at fan zones in Auckland's CBD.

Space on Queens Wharf, home to the Cloud and Shed 10, is limited to 12,000 people. But when that area is full, Captain Cook and Marsden Wharves will open, to take a further 14,000 and 4500 fans respectively.

Big screens will also show the match at a new fan zone, set up at Aotea Square.

A total of 196 police will patrol those areas and 69 officers are on standby.

Fan zones in Albany, Henderson and Mangere will take a further 26,000 fans and each venue will be patrolled by 136 police officers.

Pre-match entertainment is planned for all three venues, with Ladi6 at Albany's fan zone, the Black Seeds at Henderson and hip-hop star Savage at Mangere.

Kiwi acts will take the stage at Queens Wharf from 3pm, including Gin Wigmore and Avalanche City.

Visitors are urged to plan their transport to and from town early. Additional train, bus and ferry services have been scheduled.

Veolia Transport said more than 100 special train services would run until about 1.30am, supervised by security staff and Maori Wardens.

Buses will also be running more frequently.

- NZ Herald

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