Hong Kong/Singapore Withdraw from RWC ’19, Japan Sole Hosts

May 12, 2011

After Hong Kong and Singapore withdrew their candidacy as potential destinations to stage the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Japan has been confirmed as the sole host country of the event.

Hong Kong and Singapore informed Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) president Yoshiro Mori of their decision following an inspection tour of Japan by International Rugby Board (IRB) chairman Bernard Lapasset.

Mori told Kyodo News: “Hong Kong and Singapore have told us they are withdrawing. Japan will host the tournament on its own.”

The IRB chief expressed his confidence in the country’s safety measures which have been put in place since the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in March, and Mori added: “Some countries were saying the 2019 tournament should be held elsewhere, but I think we’ve managed to further our understanding with the IRB.”

Despite positive reviews for the event in 8 years time, the IRB has decided to move five of the six matches from the Pacific Nations Cup this summer out of Japan to Fiji with the original host nation only staging the opening match against Samoa at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground.