TOKYO, 31 Oct – There have been no prizes given out at Rugby World Cup 2019 just yet, but one man has already got his hands on a couple of treasured possessions.
Suntory Sungoliath scrum-half Genki Okoshi, above, was parachuted in to help England prepare for Saturday’s final against South Africa after Willi Heinz was ruled out through injury, with Saracens' Ben Spencer on his way to Japan as his replacement.
A number of Suntory players have helped Eddie Jones's team with training ground preparations over the course of the tournament, but there was a special reward for Okoshi as he enjoyed his last session with the squad on Thursday – a ticket for the final and a signed England jersey.
Today was Genki’s last day training with us.@sungoliath, thank you for lending us one of your players どうもありがとう— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 30, 2019
Genki, you’ve been an absolute star and we hope you enjoy the game on Saturday 🌹#RWCFinal #CarryThemHome pic.twitter.com/ISpXqZUP0U
Full-back Elliot Daly said: "They've been with us for three or four weeks. It's been good because we've had a few niggles and things, so it's good to have a full XV to train against. You can see how excited they are to come and train with us.
"Genki has been our boy, really. He's the man."
The shortlist for the International Rugby Players Try of the Year 2019 has been announced, and it is a quartet of absolute belters.
The winner will be announced on 3 November at the World Rugby Awards in Tokyo. What would be your choice?
The shortlist for International Rugby Players Try of the Year 2019 has been announced!— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) October 30, 2019
The winner will be named on 3 November at the #WorldRugbyAwards in Tokyo.
Which try do you think should win it? pic.twitter.com/EwYqgHRA3p
Just sit back and enjoy this...
We will never tire of seeing Georgia’s Levan Chilachava giving his team-mate, and Rugby World Cup 2019's youngest player, Vano Karkadze, 19, the fright of his life.
And kudos to our friends in world rugby's social media department for adding the Halloween twist.
You can check out the original footage below.
And the winner is...
In today’s Rugby World Cup Daily, former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio and South Africa speedster Bryan Habana pick their winners of RWC 2019, and we also get the neutral view from Ireland legend Brian O’Driscoll. Meanwhile, Bollywood actor and director - and former Indian rugby player - Rahul Bose takes Emma’s quiz and reveals his forfeit is like chewing on "fine, old cured leather". No, we’re not sure how he would recognise that taste, either.
Proud pop pops to Japan
South Africa’s players have been full of praise for their inspirational captain, Siya Kolisi, in the build-up to Saturday’s final against England.
And there will be one extra special face in the crowd when the Stormers back-row leads the Rainbow Nation on to the field at the International Stadium Yokohama.
That’s because his father, Fezakele, has made his first trip abroad to watch his son's historic night.
It was good news on the travel front for Mr Kolisi, but not so fortunate was Henry Tuilagi, brother of England centre, Manu.
Sadly, he will not be in Yokohama on Saturday.
"My brother Freddie is here," said Manu. "Henry was supposed to come but couldn’t get his visa in time."
Bowling 'em over
Even though Henry Tuilagi will not be there to see it, England will be hoping little brother Manu can knock over Springbok defenders as easily as these pins went down.
Stat of the Day
South Africa have twice won the World Cup. Remarkably, on both occasions they neither scored nor conceded a try in the final. In 1995, they beat New Zealand 15-12 after extra-time, and 12 years later it was 15-6 against England.