The world’s reaction to the recently released schedule of the Japan 2019 RWC (Rugby World Cup) has been a mix of acceptance and excitement. The event is now less than two years away, and for the sides who have qualified, the fixture list gives them targets to aim at.
World Rugby and the Rugby World Cup organizing committee have striven to set a match schedule that challenges teams, and engages fans. With the dates now published, teams and rugby unions, fans and followers will be ‘counting down the days’.
The opening of Japan 2019 RWC is set for Friday September 20, at Tokyo Stadium. That will no doubt be a spectacular show, with matches beginning immediately afterwards.
The blend of iconic venues and vibrant host cities will provide a diversity of unforgettable cultural experiences for travelling fans, while 80 per cent of the Japanese population will be within 30 minutes of a match.
48 matches spread across the 12 host stadiums, the World Cup will be the pinnacle event of rugby fans . Japan will want to have rugby grounds which can provide a stage for all countries to demonstrate their skill.
Schedule Confirmed for Japan 2019 RWC
The most obvious first match of consequence, will be current holders New Zealand taking on South Africa. It is a superb way to begin the tournament, that runs from September 20 to November 2.
— dominic rumbles (@dominicrumbles) November 2, 2017
Across the pool games, over the matches, rugby fans will see the world’s best facing each other. World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont (see above) said, “the announcement of the match schedule and ticketing programme will generate excitement as we all look ahead to a tournament that will break new ground as the first in Asia.
“Today the tournament comes to life for the players and fans.
“We know that this will be a special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Japan to welcome the world to the whole of this great nation.”
The host nation is the leading light of Asian rugby currently. And with the huge growth in the global game, regions like South-East Asia and especially China, are markets where the game is developing fastest. Having the 2019 Japan RWC on their doorstep, is the best advertisement for the sport of rugby.
2019 Tournament a Showcase of Rugby Values and Rugby Equity
The schedule has also been developed following team feedback post Rugby World Cup 2015 with an equitable match schedule a core principle and a significant improvement has been achieved within the framework of a four pool, five teams per pool format.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 2, 2017
The organizing committee have worked hard to deliver a match schedule that improves on the RWC 2015 model, delivering a balanced spread of matches and ‘rugby equity’. It includes greater rest periods for the emerging rugby nations, ahead of matches against the top-ranked teams. Equity is an important factor, with the Tier-two nation being a sole host.
Japan Rugby 2019 Chief Executive Akira Shimazu told WorldRugby.org “With two years left until the tournament, we will continue progressing preparations to provide fans with an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Furthermore, we hope to provide top athletes and fans visiting from around the world with an optimal environment so that we can welcome them at our best.”
Those sentiments reflect the honour in which Japan wish to host the ninth edition of the World Cup. Fans will enjoy the best setting and facilities, as the 21st century country put their best foot forward.
Follow the lead-up to the 2019 Japan RWC, as Last Word on Rugby follow the final qualification matches and lead-up to the World Cup kick-off in September 2019.
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