World Rugby praises RWC hosts Japan

Source:AFP Published: 2019/9/17 19:28:41

Photo: IC

Organizers said the Rugby World Cup (RWC) was set to break broadcast records and grow the game in Asia as excitement builds in Japan, with huge crowds turning out for training sessions ahead of Friday's kickoff.

World Rugby said 96 percent of tickets had been sold and that the curtain-raiser between Japan and Russia could set a tournament record for viewing figures in a single country.

The World Cup, the first to be held in Asia, is taking place eight years after the devastating Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, and comes just a year before Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics.

"Earthquakes, floods, we suffered many hardships," organising committee chairman Fujio Mitarai told reporters on Tuesday. 

"But all the stakeholders stayed together and we created the optimum environment for a successful World Cup in Japan."

World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said the tournament's commercial revenues will outstrip the 2015 edition in England and Wales, adding that the competition was on course to be a sellout.


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