It was great to see that Japan has been awarded the 2019 Rugby World Cup. England receiving the hosting rights for 2015, which should suit the Aussies as they won “Bill” on the last two occasions one of the Home nations was host.
It is good to see the IRB take the hosting away from the traditional powerhouses. By the time they do host the event it will be 32 years since the inaugural World Cup so they have had to be patient.
Rugby union is credited with being first introduced in Japan by Professor Edward Bramwell Clarke(who was born in Yokohama) and Tanaka Ginnosuke, both graduates of Cambridge University, in 1899. However in the treaty ports, in particular Kobe and Yokohama the game had been played before that, between teams of long-term foreign residents and visiting ships’ crews, military personnel etc.
It may surprise many to know that Japan has the 4th largest number of registered rugby players in the world (125,508), behind only England, South Africa and France.
So it is only fair thatthese fans of the game they play in heaven be treated to the biggest event in Rugby’s sporting calendar. There is no doubt it will be a wonderful event and the Japanese will be great hosts.