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World Rugby has welcomed the exceptional level of interest and enthusiasm shown in response to the nationwide team camp search and selection programme for Rugby World Cup 2019, reflecting the enormous excitement and value of hosting rugby's showcase event.
Japan Rugby 2019 today announced 76 applications had been received from more than 90 prefectures and cities since the process was launched last year as the tournament continues to deliver on its mission to engage, excite and connect the length and breadth of Japan. In a spirit of collaboration and cooperation, some cities and towns have banded together to submit joint applications.
Team camps will play a key role within Rugby World Cup 2019; hosting the 20 competing teams and taking the tournament to local communities across the country, making it a sporting event for the entire country.
A team camp will consist of five component parts, including an outdoor and indoor training facility, hotel, swimming pool and gym. Japan Rugby 2019 will identify up to 50 team camps across the country, providing the 20 competing teams with a variety of team camp locations.
Team camp locations will range from close proximity to a particular match venue, centrally located between match venues, or outside of a host city to provide a different training environment away from the hub of tournament activity.
Japan Rugby 2019 Chief Executive Akira Shimazu said: "Team camps will play a pivotal role in the tournament and we are delighted to see such a strong response rate to the search and selection programme. We want to identify high quality facilities across the country to ensure the teams have the best possible platform to compete at Rugby World Cup 2019. As an organising committee we are fully committed to meeting the needs of all competing players, ensuring that we deliver to the best possible standards.
"We received 76 applications from Hokkaido in the very north down to Okinawa, which is the most southern prefecture of Japan, so it's exciting that so many local authorities recognise the value of providing a team camp. Having such a diverse collection of camps will ensure there is a real buzz around the tournament for every Japanese person.
"2017 is an important year for us. We will have pool draw in Kyoto in May this year, and we will announce the successful team camp candidates this summer before the announcement of the match schedule and the ticketing programme.”
Once the match schedule has been finalised and teams know where they will play, the teams will visit Japan to inspect the available team camps.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "The strong interest from parties interested in becoming a Rugby World Cup 2019 team camp reflects the enormous prestige of the Rugby World Cup brand and that it is sure to be an event that is set to capture the hearts and minds of people the length and breadth of the nation and beyond.
"While the match venues are the stages on which the 20 participating nations will showcase the sport and character-building values, the team camps will deliver the important platform to ensure all our players are ready to perform to their full potential. I am delighted that this submission reflects the superb sporting facilities in Japan but also the depth and warmth of the welcome that the teams will receive.”
Applications have been received from the following cities and prefectures: