World Rugby to Examine Japan 2019 World Cup Preparations Ahead of Pool Draw

May 8, 2017

World Rugby will review the preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Kyoto, Japan this week while also taking a look at the candidates vying to host the 2023 edition.

Kyoto will host rugby’s decision-makers for a schedule of meetings that includes Rugby World Cup Limited Board, World Rugby EXCO and World Rugby Council meetings, culminating in the pool draw for the 2019 World Cup on Wednesday.

With Japan preparing to host Asia’s first Rugby World Cup, and the global game experiencing record participation (8.5 million) and fan-base (300 million) growth and Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 in Ireland set to inspire a new generation of players, the meetings come at an exciting time for the sport.

The Rugby World Cup Limited Board will review hosting preparation for Rugby World Cup 2019 and the latest from the candidate phase of the Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process as the race to host rugby’s showcase event enters the home straight.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “This is an exciting and defining year for our sport as we look to further the competition and regulatory framework that will provide the platform for rugby to continue to sustainably grow in both established and emerging markets.

“Set against a backdrop of strong participation and fan growth, we have achieved agreement on a long-term optimised global calendar that provides certainty and stability over the decade beyond Rugby World Cup 2019, which is a major milestone. This week we will consider the game’s eligibility framework following a detailed review of the criteria governing international representation.

“As rugby grows, we need to ensure that it continues to be relevant and inspiring to the next generation of players and fans. Everyone has a say and everyone has a role to play in our future.

“I would like to thank our friends from the Japan Rugby Football Union, Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee and Japanese rugby community for their warm welcome and look forward to the week ahead.”

The meetings take place at an exciting time for rugby in Asia, where participation across the region has almost doubled since 2009 to more than 500,000 players. A further 610,700 children participated into Get Into Rugby activities in 2016. Later this month IMPACT Beyond RWC 2019 will be launched, an ambitious project to sustainably support and grow rugby participation in Asia, targeting one million new players by Rugby World Cup 2019.

Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee CEO Akira Shimazu added: “We welcome these important meetings that consider the future of rugby, including here in Asia, being hosted in Japan alongside the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw.

“The unique significance and opportunity of hosting Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan lies in further spreading rugby in Asia and ensuring rugby is a truly global sport. We will continue to work with World Rugby and Rugby World Cup Limited to build a robust and sustainable legacy through the successful delivery of Rugby World Cup 2019, the first  in Asia.”