Japanese star records Rugby World Cup 2019 anthem World in Union

With less than a year to go before Rugby World Cup 2019 ™ kicks off in Japan, tournament organisers have announced Japanese artist Kiyoe Yoshioka’s version of World in Union as the tournament’s official anthem.

With less than a year to go before Rugby World Cup 2019 ™ kicks off in Japan, tournament organisers have announced Japanese artist Kiyoe Yoshioka’s version of World in Union as the tournament’s official anthem.

The lead singer of the pop-rock band Ikimono-gakari, Kiyoe is hugely popular across Japan. Her version of World in Union, with its message of global unity and friendship, is synonymous with Rugby’s global showpiece and is set to be a hit among Japanese rugby fans and Kiyoe’s loyal fanbase throughout Japan.

At Rugby World Cup 1991 in England, world famous soprano Kiri Te Kanawa performed World in Union at a Rugby World Cup for the first time. Since then the song has featured at every addition of the tournament and is typically performed by a well-known artist or group from the tournament’s host country. It has been sung in a variety of musical styles from classical opera to traditional South African male vocal ensemble, and recorded in numerous languages including English, French, Welsh, Maori and Japanese.

Kiyoe Yoshioka said: “As a Japanese artist, it is a great honour to perform the official theme song for the first Rugby World Cup to be held in both Japan and Asia. World in Union is such a powerful and inspiring song and I have really enjoyed working with the music and lyrics, giving them what I hope is a unique, Japanese interpretation. I’m now looking forward with great anticipation to the start of the tournament. World in Union captures the spirit of global friendship and respect that rugby epitomises. I’m happy to be able to help spread this wonderful message throughout Japan and to the world.”

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “World Rugby are delighted to welcome Kiyoe Yoshioka to a very special group of performers that have performed World in Union as the official Rugby World Cup theme song. Having such a recognisable and respected Japanese artist will ensure the song’s positive message of uniting the world in the spirit of fair play, friendship and respect resonates across Japan and around the world.”

Kiyoe Yoshioka’s version of World in Union will be the eighth consecutive time the song has been performed as the official Rugby World Cup theme song since 1991. While it will be officially launched and available for download internationally on 24 October 2018, fans can listen to the song as part of an official Rugby World Cup 2019 promotional video released today.

With 48 matches played across 12 host cities stretching from the northern island of Hokkaido, to the southern island of Kyushu, visiting fans will get to experience the amazing regional diversity Japan has to offer while being a part of the world’s premier rugby tournament.


The latest opportunity to purchase tickets is currently open with the General Public Ticket Ballot running until 12 November 2018. With unprecedented demand so far, fans are encouraged to use the traffic-light indicator on the Rugby World Cup ticketing site that clearly shows the level of ticket demand across every match. By choosing matches that are green or amber, fans have a far greater chance of being part of what is shaping up to be a truly once in a lifetime event. For information on Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets visit tickets.rugbyworldcup.com

Fans will be able to opt-in and donate to the ChildFund Pass It Back programme. In partnership with World Rugby’s Impact Beyond programme, Pass It Back inspires positive social change through the delivery of an integrated life-skills and non-contact tag rugby curriculum, educating children and young people in areas of leadership, problem-solving, gender equality, conflict resolution and life preparation. For more details visit www.childfundpassitback.org.

With such exceptional demand for tickets, fans are being urged to buy exclusively from official channels to avoid being let down. For more details visit www.rugbyworldcup.com/buy-official