World Rugby has undertaken its third official review of Rugby World Cup 2019 hosting preparations during a busy week of meetings in Tokyo.
The delegation, led by Chief Executive Brett Gosper, reiterated that 2017 will be critical to the ultimate success of Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.
With tournament preparations moving from the planning to operational delivery phase, World Rugby outlined that the eyes of the world will be on Japan this year as key milestones take place that will bring the tournament alive for the teams, the fans and the Japanese public.
Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw in Kyoto on 10 May
Launch of the IMPACT Beyond 2019 legacy programme
Selection of the team camps that will offer a world-class experience for players and teams
Finalisation of a match schedule that optimises tournament engagement
Announcement of the ticketing programme details
Building on the record-breaking success of the England 2015 event, Japan 2019 aims to deliver an event that will connect and engage a nation and the world through sport and friendship.
Twelve venues the length and breadth of the nation and a family of engaged and excited host cities and team camps will provide the framework for an unprecedented nationwide celebration of rugby, friendship and Japanese culture. Everyone will be welcomed with a strong Nippon.
Rugby World Cup 2019 will be the biggest sporting event of the decade, and with 75 per cent of the population living within an hour of a match venue, there is an opportunity for everyone in Japan to experience and be a part of one of the most popular sporting events on the planet.
Gosper said: “This is an exciting an important year in the tournament’s lifecycle. Milestones in 2017 will lay the foundation for the successful delivery of Rugby World Cup 2019, including the pool draw, the match schedule announcement and launch of the ticketing programme – these are all major moments that will bring the tournament to life for the teams and fans around the world.
“With an accessible ticketing programme set to be announced later this year, it is important that our friends at the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee continue to ignite excitement throughout the host cities, who will be central to inspiring people to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime event that has fan-experience at its core.”
Optimising participant and fan-base growth in Japan is central to the organising committee and Japan Rugby Football Union’s tournament objectives. More than 60,000 fans have signed-up to join the Supporters’ Club, which launched in September 2016 and provides an advance opportunity to access ticketing information.
And with rugby participation growing at record pace in Asia, the Japan Rugby Football Union, Asia Rugby and World Rugby will launch its IMPACT Beyond programme in May, outlining a joint pledge to attract, inspire and retain one million new players across the world’s most populous region.
Japan Rugby 2019 CEO Akira Shimazu said: “Hosting this first tournament review meeting of 2017 marks an important phase as we begin to move from planning to delivery. The meetings were detailed, constructive and provided us with an opportunity to outline progress and be guided by World Rugby’s knowledge.
“We are doing our best to deliver a ground-breaking tournament for teams and fans in partnership with our colleagues in the host cities and the Japanese government, who fully support us.”