Rugby World Cup fever is taking hold across Japan as the country counts down 50 days to go until the host nation plays Russia in the opening match at Tokyo Stadium on Sept 20.
With 400,000 international rugby fans set to descend upon Japan and with excitement building among local fans, Rugby World Cup 2019 is shaping up to be the sporting event of 2019 and the must have ticket for sporting fans across the globe.
Following Japan’s impressive 34-21 victory over Fiji at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium in Iwate Prefecture last Saturday, Japan will host Tonga on Saturday at Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Higashiosaka in the 2019 Pacific Nations Cup. With both matches sold out and with Fiji and Tonga set to play Rugby World Cup pool matches at the same respective venues, the Pacific Nations Cup provides important preparation for teams, while giving fans a taste of what to expect during Rugby World Cup.
Independent research commissioned by the Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee since England 2015 has shown a significant increase in the awareness of the tournament across Japan. Japan’s heroics at Rugby World Cup 2015 captivated the country and provided the perfect platform to raise awareness of Japan hosting the next addition of rugby’s global showpiece.
In 2015, 51.2% of the population were aware Rugby World Cup 2019 was coming to Japan. With the survey conducted every four months since, results from July 2019 show this figure has risen to 77.4%, an astonishing 98.3 million people.
Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee CEO Akira Shimazu said: “With both Pacific Nations Cup matches sold out and with strong early ticket sales for the warm-up match against South Africa at Kumagaya Rugby Stadium on Sept 6, Japanese rugby fans are getting behind the national team in record numbers in this Rugby World Cup year. With research suggesting that over three quarters of the population are aware Rugby World Cup 2019 will take place in Japan, and with record ticket demand for matches in advance of the tournament, it’s clear that Rugby World Cup fever has taken hold throughout the country.”
The 50 days to go milestone also sees the halfway point of the domestic trophy tour. The Webb Ellis Cup completed an 18-month, 19-country world tour ahead of arriving in Japan on June 12. The coveted trophy is traveling the length and breadth of the country, inspiring a whole new generation of rugby fans. Since its arrival 50 days ago, the Webb Ellis Cup has travelled 10,000 kilometers throughout Japan, visiting seven host cities, the Hiroshima Peace Park, numerous schools, castles and shrines. The trophy is also scheduled to scale the heights of Mount Fuji.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “With 50 days to go, we are confident and excited that Japan 2019 will be a very special success on every level – it will break records and make history on and off the field as Asia’s first Rugby World Cup. Records will be broken during the tournament from fan-zone attendance to broadcast and engagement, but significantly with 50 days to go, we can confidently say that Japan 2019 is already proving to be a transformational driver of sporting and social legacy in the host nation and across Asia. The hosting of this tournament has paved the way for 1.16 million people to experience the sport across Asia, 200,000 in Japan alone, through our dedicated Impact Beyond legacy programs in partnership with JRFU and Asia Rugby, it has provided an important and exciting step-change for Rugby in the world’s most populous and youthful region.
“Japan will be a ground-breaking occasion for the global rugby family, but also a special moment for our Japanese hosts, who will show the world the best of Japan, its rich culture, famed hospitality and passion for rugby. Our advice to fans is to not miss out on what will be an incredible six-week celebration.”
Remaining ticket inventory will be available for a final general sales phase set to begin at 18:00 JST on Saturday Aug 10 at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets. These tickets will be a mixture of seats released from ongoing venue planning and configuration and handbacks from the tournament's commercial program and unions, and tickets that have been registered for official resale by fans who can no longer attend matches.
With demand for tickets likely to remain incredibly high and ticket availability expected to be tight across most tournament matches, fans are encouraged not to hesitate in purchasing tickets they find available during this next sales period. Another option for fans looking to secure specific match tickets is through the Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Supporter Tour and Hospitality programs. Ticket-inclusive travel packages provided through RWC 2019 official travel agents are proving extremely popular, with tickets for some of the most popular matches still available. The prestigious Webb Ellis Suite and private hospitality suites are already sold out, however some great matchday hospitality options are still available. Further details can be found via www.rugbyworldcup.com/supportertours and www.rugbyworldcup.com/hospitality.© Rugbyworldcup.com