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100 Days To Go To Pyeongchang 2018

2 November 2017 7:30 AM
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International Stadium Yokohama will be the heart of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, it emerged today as the match schedules were released.

Four pool matches will be held at the Stadium located 40 kilometres outside Japan's capital Tokyo.

They will involve matches between New Zealand and South Africa, Ireland and Scotland, England and France, and Japan and Scotland.

The Stadium, which hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup final between Brazil and Germany, will also stage both of the semi-finals and the final on November 2 in exactly two years time.

Oita, meanwhile, will host two quarter-finals and three pool matches, while 10 other cities will host at least two of the 48 matches.

The host nation are due to begin its campaign against Europe 1- who have yet to be decided - in the opening match on September 20 in capital city Tokyo.

It is hoped that Japan's hosting of the event will promote the sport in the Land of the Rising Sun, where at least 80 per cent of the population will be within a half-hour of the match.

New Zealand, winners of the World Cup three times, including in 2011 and 2015, are scheduled begin to defend their title on September 21 in 2019 by taking on South Africa in Yokohama.

England, the 2003 winners, will be in action against Tonga the following day in Sapporo.

"The announcement of the match schedule and ticketing programme will generate excitement as we all look ahead to a tournament that will break new ground as the first in Asia," said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.

"We are grateful to the cities and venues who have been at the heart of this process and will play such a central role in welcoming the world to Japan."

The planning for the schedule has involved ensuring that all venues are within 45 minutes of a team camp, as well as ensuring rest days for tier two teams ahead of tier one fixtures.

It also follows feedback since the 2015 World Cup, which envisaged an equitable match schedule, resulting in a four pool, five teams per pool format, so that no tier two team plays a tier one team following a short rest period.

"We have worked hard to deliver a match schedule that improves on the Rugby World Cup 2015 model, delivering a more balanced spread of matches across the four weeks of pool matches and greater rest periods for the emerging rugby nations ahead of matches against the top-ranked teams," World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said.

More than 60,000 fans have already registered for tickets, with sales due to begin on January 19 next year.

"Fans in Japan and across the globe can now officially start planning their trips to Japan, deciding which city to visit to join the throngs of spectators at the venues," Akira Shimazu, the chief executive of Japan Rugby 2019, said.

"I am also looking forward to seeing more exchange taking place between the host cities and the countries of the participating teams.

"With two years left until the tournament, we will continue progressing preparations to provide fans with an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"Furthermore, we hope to provide top athletes and fans visiting from around the world with an optimal environment so that we can welcome them at our best."

Japan is currently hosting a major festival to allow people throughout the country to see the Webb Ellis Cup themselves.

It involved a tour of Tokyo, Saitama, Oita, Shizuoka, Iwate, Kumamoto, Osaka, Aichi, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Kanagawa, and is due to culminate in Yokohama on Saturday (November 4) with a game between the host country and Australia.

Child tickets for the Rugby World Cup start from ¥1000 (£7/$9/€7.50), adult tickets from ¥2,019 (£13.50/$18/€15) and 900,000 tickets under ¥15,000 (£1,000/$1,300/€1,100).

Fans can secure tickets via the public sales process managed by Japan Rugby 2019 or via the official travel and hospitality programmes managed by Sports Travel and Hospitality (STH) Limited.


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