The Rugby World Cup is coming to Asia for the first time! With Japan securing the rights to the RWC 2019 in 2009, the rugby showcase will run from 20 September to 2 November. RugbyAsia247 presents the most important information below.
Although Hong Kong and Singapore were presented as potential hosts when the JRFU (Japan Rugby Football Federation) submitted their bid to World Rugby, neither feature in the final selection of 12 venues.
The National Olympic Stadium, which was targeting the 2020 Summer Olympics to be held in Japan was originally the planned venue for the RWC 2019 opening games and final. However, escalating costs have meant that the World Cup venue was replaced and the International Stadium Yokohama will host the prestigious final
Are you in Asia during the RWC 2019 but also looking for other rugby events and tournaments taking place? We have put together a guide on the best rugby tournaments in Asia during the Rugby World Cup. Keep tabs on all the best rugby tournaments in Asia with our Tournament Calendar.
World Rugby has up to date information on the matches and venues.
(all images are credited to World Rugby)
Tickets for the showpiece event have been available for some time through a number of lotteries and all remaining RWC tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis.
Although the RWC will be in Asia for the first time, only one Asian team will be represented in Japan, and that is the home nation. The Brave Blossoms had a fantastic Rugby World Cup in 2015 and we hope Asia will get behind them at the World Cup.
Hong Kong managed to make it to the final repechage playoffs but unfortunately lost out on final qualification for the World Cup in 2019.
South Africa won the RWC 2019 beating England in the final to claim their 3rd Webb-Ellis Trophy and match the number that the All Blacks have. NZ claimed third place, beating Wales in the 3rd-4th playoff.
One of the big questions for Japan RFU and World Rugby was the hope they could impact positively on Asia and leave a legacy after the RWC 2019. Below are some of the projects that are aiming to leave a positive rugby legacy in Asia.
A partnership between World Rugby and ChildFund Pass It Back (PIB) was announced in 2018 an “Impact Beyond 2019 legacy programme, aims to transform the lives of tens of thousands of children from disadvantaged communities in Asia through the delivery of an integrated life-skills and non-contact tag rugby curriculum.”
Fans can also choose to opt-in and donate when purchasing tickets to the Rugby World Cup 2019.
Read more about PIB in our interview with ChildFund Pass It Back Regional Director, Chris Mastaglio. We find out about the origins of the project and its growth over the recent years. You can also find out about how the RWC mascot Ren-G is supporting the project.
This project had some ambitious goals but the numbers according to World Rugby are positive. The aim of Impact Beyond was to mainly accelerate the growth of rugby in Asia.
A number of emerging Asian rugby nations have also rolled out programs under the Get Into Rugby program to introduce more youths to play rugby throughout Asia.
Asia has been included as the famous Webb-Ellis trophy circumnavigates the world in the lead up to the RWC 2019. Countries such as Hong Kong, China, Philippines, India, Japan, Nepal, and Malaysia have hosted the tour.
James Owens (Hong Kong) and Ron Rutland (South Africa) embarked on an epic Race to RWC bicycle ride from London to Japan. The pair will deliver the whistle to be used at the opening of the RWC on Friday 20th September 2019. Aside from the massive publicity gained cycling over 20,000km in 231 days, the pair have importantly raised awareness and funds for the ChildFund Pass It Back rugby development program on the Race to RWC ride.
Are you travelling to and around Japan for the Rugby World Cup? We put together a list of some of the best movies and documentaries focused on rugby which you can enjoy while on the road or in the air!
The Women’s Rugby World Cup will be held in New Zealand in 2021. In August 2019, World Rugby announced that the Rugby World Cup tournaments (15s and sevens) will have gender-neutral names, starting with the World Cup in 2021.
After the RWC in Japan, attention will turn to France who will host the tournament in 2023. France beat bids from Ireland and South Africa to win the hosting rights for 2023. They previously hosted the tournament in 2007, which was won the Springboks from South Africa.