TOKYO, 15 Oct - Thousands of Ireland rugby fans are in Japan and many more are arriving for Saturday's hotly anticipated quarter-final against the All Blacks. There is just one problem: most of them have tickets for Japan v South Africa on Sunday.
Japan's thrilling but unexpected surge to the top of Pool A not only surprised the pundits, it completely wrong-footed the Green Army. Luckily, both games are at the 50,000-capacity Tokyo Stadium and the Irish are banking on the fact that Japan supporters will be just as eager to swap.
Social media is buzzing with messages requesting exchanges but a Facebook page - in English and Japanese - takes the whole Rugby World Cup swap shop idea to another level with the simple, yet brilliant, suggestion that all potential swappers meet in Asakusa on Friday evening. They can overcome any language barrier by sharing this heart-tugging account of last Sunday night's events...
Mateship, passion, loyalty - RIP Jeff Sayle
Michael Cheika and Eddie Jones will not see eye-to-eye about much before Australia face England, but they are united in their appreciation for Jeff Sayle, their coach at the Randwick club in Sydney. Sayle, who has died aged 77, served the club in various capacities for 60 years.
Cheika said Sayle, who won one cap for the Wallabies, taught him to love the game. "He espoused all the good things about rugby: mateship, passion, loyalty. Every day he pushed you to be better, but he never judged you. I've tried to follow some of the things he taught me. He inspired you to want to play rugby."
Jones said: "He was a great mate of mine. It's a very sad day for rugby because he is a good person. He gave a lot to the game. It's a real loss and we have to make sure we keep those characters in rugby."
I’m ready for my close-up…
Nigel Owens is no stranger to the camera: as well as being a veteran of more than 80 high-profile test matches, he has hosted game shows on Welsh language TV channel S4C and is currently starring in a series of ads for RWC worldwide partner Emirates. Indeed, his official profile on the Welsh Rugby Union website defines him as 'Professional referee, TV presenter, entertainer'.
So it was a surprise to see him almost being taken out by a cameraman during Tonga’s game against USA. As they say in acting circles: time to work on your blocking, Nigel.
Sword of honour
Scotland's Jamie Ritchie had an unexpected souvenir of Sunday's momentous match with Japan to take home with him: a samurai sword. Posting a picture of himself alongside Japan's captain, Michael Leitch, the back-row forward said: "Gutted with the result and to be heading home but Japan were the better side. Truly humbled to have been presented this sword. We go to war on the pitch but there is nothing but respect when the final whistle blows."
He won't have any trouble at customs back in Scotland. The sword is plastic.
Lights, camera, action!
Media interest in the South Africa team has moved up several gears this week, for obvious reasons. "Everybody is here," said Boks coach Rassie Erasmus as the full glare of the Japanese media was pointed in his direction. "They are excited about it, and rightly so, because their team is really doing well. We can feel the vibe, and we can definitely feel we are in for a big game, just by seeing all the people here."
Stuff of nightmares
Semi Radradra may be on his way back to club rugby in Bordeaux but we wouldn't mind betting rival backs will be having nightmares for some time about the 100kg Fijian 'Semi-Trailer' - that is almost 16 stone in old money - heading in their direction.
France prop Jefferson Poirot, a team-mate of Radradra, has mixed feelings about Union Bordeaux-Begles' excellent start to the Top 14 season. The captain is delighted the club are in second place and producing some fine rugby under new coach Christophe Urios. "I’m super happy," said the prop. "I hesitate to go on holiday for a bit longer because, apparently, they're doing better without me.
"All the Toulouse naysayers are saying we’ll be autumn champions and that’ll be the end of it. So I’m giving a shout-out to my team-mates to go all the way this time."
As the press conference broke up, Poirot took the microphone to ask journalists if they had "one last question on Stade Francais for Gael Fickou?" The Paris Club where the centre plays are currently last.
Which England player would choose to sing Islands in the Stream on a karaoke night? Elma persuades Sam Underhill to dish the dirt on his team-mates for Rugby World Cup Daily. She also says goodbye to some of the players who made a big impression during the pool stage.
Hoff to work he goes
Some people just see Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny jogging down the touchline. Others immediately think of Malibu...
Stat of the day
Of all 20 teams at RWC 2019, Australia have kicked the ball from hand the least often - 13 times. Saturday's quarter-final opponents England, by contrast, have kicked from hand the most often: 29 times.