JWC 2009 in Japan hailed a success

(IRB.COM) Monday 22 June 2009
JWC 2009 in Japan hailed a success
Japanese fans got behind every team - not just the hosts - Photo: Hiroyuki Nagaoka (RJP)

The IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009 has been the most widely viewed IRB Age Grade tournament to date, with 103,012 spectators attending matches across four cities in Japan.

The premier tournament for international teams at Under 20 level, which ran from 5-21 June, was also screened live by 16 broadcasters to 135 countries with a global potential reach of nearly 300 million homes and matches were streamed live via irb.com for the first time.

After 40 matches, 257 tries, 167 conversions, 113 penalty kicks and five drop goals for a total of 1,973 points, New Zealand were crowned champions with their captain Aaron Cruden also being named IRB Junior Player of the Year 2009.

IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009 Host Broadcasters JSPORTS provided extensive live coverage of 10 matches across Japan and Asia including the thrilling final between New Zealand and England in Tokyo, reaching a growing market for the Game.

Broadcasters from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa also covered the tournament.

"We have enjoyed a wonderful festival of Rugby in Japan with some big crowds, competitive matches, breathtaking individual skill and a significant global audience," said IRB Tournament Director Philippe Bourdarias.

"The IRB legacy programme, which involved players from all participating nations in school coaching sessions, and the training of local referees and commissioners, will leave a lasting legacy for the Game in Japan for many years to come.

"I would like to thank the JRFU for hosting such a successful IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009, and we look forward to welcoming the top 12 teams to Argentina for the IRB Junior World Championship in June 2010," added Bourdarias.

Yuichi Nakazato, JRFU Tournament Director, said: "I am pleased that the first ever international 15-a-side tournament in Japan has been such a success, and delighted that we passed the 100,000 mark for spectators, which surpasses last year's attendance.

"We believe that lots of Japanese fans will be enthused by the atmosphere of international competition and seeing the stars of the future on display. The tournament legacy programme has engaged local children and married Rugby with Japanese tradition and education.

"As Host Union, we have fully utilised our world-class transportation and accommodation facilities for this tournament and shown successful management of a global event.

"Lastly I would like to thank all the participating teams for their superior performance at every match and also the IRB who gave us such a great opportunity and challenge of making Rugby history in Japan."