With the calendar now ticking down in mere hours until the opening of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the host nation has opened its arms to each nation, with official team welcomes highlighting the how close fans are to witnessing the opening matches.
Last Word on Rugby brings you a storyboard of footage and pictures from teams, as they arrive and settle into their bases, less than a week until the September 20 opening ceremony, on Friday.
Rugby World Cup storyboard; Official team welcomes
The majority of RWC contenders have enjoyed official team welcomes, with ceremonies held all across Japan. Leading sides like England, New Zealand and South Africa have celebrated Japanese culture, in being welcomed into the host nations opens arms.
WELCOME TO #RWC2019
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) September 16, 2019
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 15, 2019
Players have been handed their team cap and player’s medal, recognizing their achievement in reaching dreams that most would have had since childhood.
Attending and competing in a Rugby World Cup.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 14, 2019
— Wallabies (@wallabies) September 10, 2019
A wonderful welcome in Chiba today as the Ireland squad were officially welcomed to @rugbyworldcup
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) September 13, 2019
Whether teams had a ‘dressed up’ occasion, or the photos show enthusiastic fans welcoming the players, it is no wonder that World Rugby is close to selling out all venues and fixtures.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) September 14, 2019
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) September 15, 2019
— USA Rugby (@USARugby) September 14, 2019
The Japanese government has also been received by World Rugby, with officials thanking the host nation for being so well prepared. The Prime Minister and Chairman of WR pictured below, alongside the Webb Ellis Cup.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe excited by prospect of best-ever Rugby World Cup #RWC2019
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 13, 2019
Many sides have already begun to acclimatize, with the high temperatures currently enjoyed in Japan. Humidity will be one major concern, as will be any threat from weather-related issues. Rain, and even Typhoon planning has seen World Rugby indicate if any games are called off, then teams will be awarded tournament points; if the game has achieved 40 minutes, or has been suspended before play began.
All teams now located in Japan, ready for RWC2019 Kickoff
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 11, 2019
— Phil Davies (@pd4rugby) September 11, 2019
Once official team welcomes are completed this week, teams and players can get down to the reality that the Rugby World Cup is only days away.
Japan will celebrate with a huge opening ceremony on Friday, September 20. The massive celebrations will be just as entertaining as the 2015 event, where a huge audience enjoyed performances from British celebrities and entertainers. Expect the Japanese planners to employ a mix local entertainers, and anglicized-performances, to reach the wide audience.
That ceremony is then followed by the JAPAN v RUSSIA opening match of the tournament, ahead of a busy weekend of fixtures, that includes New Zealand v South Africa, and France v Argentina.
Follow all the lead-up, news, analysis and results here with Last Word on Rugby.
“Main photo credit”