Japan begins road to RWC 2019
The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) and Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) have officially begun the countdown to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
Boosted by the successful hosting of the Bledisloe Cup match at the weekend, JRFU officials met with representatives from RWCL to beginning the planning process in earnest and map out the next decade until Japan hosts the first Rugby World Cup tournament to be staged in Asia.
On the agenda during the two-day meeting were all aspects of tournament delivery from key hosting processes and logistical delivery to promotion and legacy, while the JRFU outlined its vision for the tournament.
"We enjoyed extremely productive meetings with the JRFU over the two days," said RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"It was hugely encouraging to see the first planning steps being taken and I would like to thank the JRFU for their commitment to delivering a successful Rugby World Cup in 2019 that will further grow the profile of Rugby in Japan and across Asia."
"The tournament may be 10 years away, but it is important that we work in partnership to drive forward the strategic goals and ultimately deliver a tournament that will reinforce the status of Rugby World Cup as one of the world's top five sporting events, showcase international Rugby at its best, develop the Game in Asia and set a benchmark for future tournaments," added Lapasset.
For the JRFU the meetings with key RWCL management provided an informative information sharing exercise and a valuable insight into what the tournament organisers expect across all areas of tournament delivery.
"The meetings were an important first step in the process towards hosting Rugby World Cup 2019. There is a long road ahead, but we are determined to ensure that the tournament is a global spectacle that the Japanese public and global Rugby family can be proud of. We are determined to deliver a hugely successful Rugby World Cup," said JRFU Chairman Nobby Mashimo.
"I would like to thank RWCL for their guidance and support and we are looking forward to establishing a strong partnership, working closely together to deliver a wonderful tournament."
Lapasset was also an interested spectator as Tokyo played host to the Bledisloe Cup match between Australia and New Zealand on Saturday.
"It was a great occasion, a wonderful atmosphere and a superb Rugby match," said Lapasset.
"As a spectacle it demonstrated to the Japanese public what to expect in 2019, but importantly showed the excitement and enthusiasm for the Game amongst the Japan Rugby community and beyond."