Ren-G, the official mascot of Rugby World Cup 2019, has been unveiled by the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee at a special event in Tokyo today.
The mascot, which is based on traditional storytelling characters grounded in ancient Japanese culture, is said to embody rugby’s values with the purpose of spreading the spirit of the game and happiness throughout Japan and around the world.
The distinctive parent and child combination of Ren-G is set to be a big hit with fans, with mascots playing an important part in the sporting and entertainment culture in Japan, often attracting icon status.
And with strong demand for stadium and team ticket packs during the domestic rugby family application phase, the mascot will perform a central role in tournament and rugby marketing ahead of Asia's first Rugby World Cup.
Ren-G will travel the length and breadth of Japan connecting communities with the tournament, promoting rugby and communicating the sport’s values to the population.
Host city, school and legacy programme visits will be part of a nationwide programme, while the mascot will also be a central pillar of the licensing programme.
Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee CEO Akira Shimazu said: "Ren-G has a very Japanese feel to it. When it was decided that Japan would play host to the Rugby World Cup, which is a first for both Japan and Asia, it brought the five values of rugby – Integrity, Passion, Solidarity, Discipline, and Respect – together with the ancient spirit of Japan and our mascot was born.
"As Ren-G embodies the values of rugby, they will spread the spirit of rugby from Japan to Asia and to the rest of the world and will help us with building excitement towards Rugby World Cup 2019."
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont added: "We are delighted to welcome Ren-G to the Rugby World Cup family. It is fantastic to see rugby’s values and Japan’s traditions come together and we look forward to following their journey as they travel the length and breadth of the country sharing the spirit of rugby."
The Ren-G story
The concept of Ren-G is based on sacred, lion-like creatures from Japanese mythology called shishi that are said to bring happiness and ward off evil and are widely depicted throughout Japanese culture.
Ren, the parent with white hair, and G, the red-headed child, embody the five values of rugby (integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect), their very purpose in life is to spread the spirit of rugby from Japan to Asia and to the rest of the world.
Their strong connection to the game is represented in their faces which take on the shape of a rugby ball. Their story is grounded in ideas of strength, courage, camaraderie and overcoming adversity.
Rugby World Cup 2019 team and stadium tickets applications launch globally
The mascot announcement comes the day before the global window for team and stadium ticketing packs opens (open 27 January (10:00 Japan time) to 12 February (23:59 Japan time) via the official ticketing website at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets.
Mastercard, as a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019, is offering those who apply for tickets using their Mastercard the chance to receive a double entry in the ticketing ballot for the opportunity to secure tickets to each of the matches they apply for.