Pressure is mounting on the Government to "come clean" over the fate of AMI Stadium and whether it can host Rugby World Cup Games later this year, while Auckland looks set to benefit if Christchurch's loses out.

Yesterday the Government said it was no closer to making a recommendation to the International Rugby Board - which makes the final decision - amid reports that the stadium was too damaged to be part of the biggest sporting event in New Zealand's history.

Britain's Daily Telegraph quoted a senior IRB source as saying an engineers' structural report of the stadium is expected to be "bleak", and the city will lose its hosting rights.

The stadium has sustained not only serious liquefaction to the turf, but large cracks can also be seen in parts of the building.

Prime Minister John Key said he could not confirm the report in the Telegraph.

"To the best of my knowledge, the IRB haven't seen any reports."

He said it was still possible that the stadium could be repaired in time, but he acknowledged bars and restaurants in the city centre were unlikely to be rebuilt in time for the event.

"That doesn't mean we can't do something of a more temporary nature," he said.

Another factor was the resources that would have to be diverted - perhaps from the hard-hit eastern suburbs - in order to ready the stadium and hospitality infrastructure in time.

Mr Key said he believed Auckland would host the quarter-finals if Christchurch could not.

Some 33,000 international visitors are expected to descend on the host city for the quarter-finals, and Mr Key said "Dunedin can't host that many international tourists", though it may host more pool games.

Opposition leader Phil Goff said Mr Key should "come clean" about Christchurch's chances.

"I understand from international reporting that the IRB is going to rule it [out]. If Mr Key is aware of that then I think it's time to come clean and just tell the people of Christchurch what the truth is. Giving them false hope is not going to help."

The Telegraph also reported the English rugby team, who were to be staying at the damaged Crowne Plaza hotel, are now likely to be based in Auckland for the tournament, which begins in September.

IRB chief executive Mike Miller has guaranteed all the matches will be held in New Zealand even if Christchurch is ruled out as a venue.

Fans who have purchased travel packages to Christchurch will be offered refunds or the chance to relocate to the new venues.

Tickets are expected to transfer to new venues if Christchurch loses its two quarter-finals and five pool games.

Alan Reay Consultants is understood to be doing reports on the stadium, but had no comment yesterday.

- Additional reporting Adam Bennett