How the Rugby World Cup Became New Zealand's Healing Game

Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images

Facing down a challenge New Zealand's All Blacks line up against Scotland in Edinburgh on Nov. 13, 2010. A World Cup win would buoy the rugby-crazy country after February's earthquake

Corey Flynn had just finished training with his teammates at the Rugby Park ground in suburban Christchurch when, around lunchtime on Feb. 22, the ground began to shake. Once the tremors had subsided, the New Zealand rugby star was struck by an odd silence. "And then we heard the car and house alarms and the sirens and knew that something had gone down," he recalls. What Flynn, his fellow players in the local Canterbury Crusaders rugby team and the rest of the residents of Christchurch discovered in the following hours and days was that a massive earthquake had ruined thousands of...

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