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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
RugbyU: Hong Kong, Singapore still in Japan's World Cup venue plan
30 July 2009
Agence France Presse

Japan will fight to stage some of its rugby World Cup games in Hong Kong and Singapore, a senior official said Thursday, despite demands from the sport's governing body that it host all the matches.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) council on Tuesday awarded the 2019 tournament to Japan, making it the first Asian host of the sport's premier quadrennial competition.

But the IRB said matches must be staged within host nations, despite Japan's bid having included allocating some pool matches to Hong Kong and Singapore in what it called a "tender for Asia" to help globalise the sport.

"We will leave the question to future talks with the IRB," Japan Rugby Football Union vice president Nobby Mashimo told AFP after returning from Dublin, where he led Japan's bid team at the council's meeting.

"It will take a long time to reach a final decision," he said, adding that the question must be settled a few years before the start of ticket sales for the 2019 event.

"The IRB has told us to stage matches at home, unless there are special reasons," Mashimo said.

"With this in mind, we will insist on the advantages of Hong Kong and Singapore," he added. "We will try to make our case understood and create conditions that are acceptable to the participants there."

In literature submitted for the bid, Japan said sharing some World Cup matches with the two former British colonies would help cultivate new fans and create business opportunities in a region with emerging corporate power.

Hong Kong is home to the world's biggest rugby Sevens tournament, and Singapore is located close to the rugby superpower nations of Australia and New Zealand.

But the hot tropical weather in Singapore has been cited as a disadvantage for teams who might have to play there, Mashimo said.

"As everybody knows, Hong Kong has a huge seating capacity for rugby matches," he said.

Mashimo said he had also stressed to IRB leaders Singapore's geographical proximity to Australia and New Zealand.

"I pointed out that Singapore is in an economic zone including Australia," he said.

Singapore is scheduled to complete a rugby stadium in a sports complex in 2011, he added.

4,498 Posts
Wonder how many stadiums do you need to run the Rugby World Cup.
The Football World Cup usually requires quite a large number of stadiums in different cities within a country or two. Even the World Cup 2002 was a joint event between Japan and South Korea.

Both HK and Singapore have very limited number of full size stadiums at like two to three at most. Just can't seem either of us can hold such sport in that scale solely. It's not an sole event for any city-state.

I guess if we had had won the bid, this could have had accelerated the construction of the proposed sport city and stadium in Kai Tak.

9,950 Posts
From the Japanese forum

Japan hosts the 2019 Rugby World Cup!!!
good news!
First Rugby World Cup hosted by Asian nation!

opeing: Sep. 6, 2019
Final: Oct. 20, 2019

Nissan Stadium, Yokohama (72,000)
Nagai Stadium, Osaka (50,000)
Olympic Stadium, Tokyo (57,000)
Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, Tokyo (27,000)
Yurtec Stadium Sendai, Sendai (20,000)
Level-5 Stadium, Fukuoka (23,000)
Toyota Stadium, Toyota (45,000)
Sapporo Dome, Sapporo (41,000)
Home's Stadium, Kobe (34,000)
Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong (40,000)
Singapore Sports Hub, Singapore (U/C 50,000)

yup, some games will be allocated to Hong Kong and Singapore.

128,933 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
HK drops plans to bid for World Cup
23 December 2009

Fears that hosting a second international tournament in one year could have an impact on the financial success of the Hong Kong Sevens have led to the union deciding against making a bid for the 2013 World Cup sevens.

The International Rugby Board has announced that Brazil, Germany and Russia have formally expressed their intentions to bid for the World Cups - for both men and women - in 2013. Hong Kong was expected to make a bid as the 2013 tournament will be the last World Cup before rugby sevens makes its Olympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Yet financial uncertainty surrounding the possibility of hosting two sevens events in the same year, plus the fact that the IRB would like to see a country that is currently not part of the World Series host the World Cup, made up the minds of local rugby officials not to make a bid. "It was felt that the viability of having a second major sevens event in the same calendar year could potentially impact the Hong Kong Sevens," said Trevor Gregory, Hong Kong Rugby Football Union chairman.

"As the revenue from the Sevens is our primary source of income to sustain and develop rugby in Hong Kong, that impact could counteract our strategic growth. One of our highest priorities at the HKRFU is re-investing in and growing the Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens, and investing revenues from the sevens to achieve our objectives for community rugby, such as developing more sports facilities. With this in mind, it was decided not to submit a bid for 2013," Gregory added.

The Sevens is the golden goose for Hong Kong. It is estimated the 2009 tournament brought in more than HK$60 million to the union.

Brazil, Germany and Russia are keen to host the sevens' showcase tournament for the first time. It will feature 24 men's and 16 women's teams playing over three days. "This announcement means the tournament is guaranteed to break new ground as it will be hosted by a new territory, demonstrating rugby sevens' growing global appeal," IRB president Bernard Lapasset said.

Gregory added: "We wish the IRB and all bidding unions well in what we are confident will be another hugely successful World Cup sevens."

The host union for the 2013 sevens World Cup will be selected by the IRB Council in May.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong returned home yesterday from their historic tour of Europe, which ended on a cold and low note with a 25-10 defeat to the Netherlands in freezing Maastricht. The three-game tour finished without a win for Hong Kong, who also lost 24-14 to Germany and 17-5 to the Czech Republic.

Hong Kong will slip down the IRB world rankings as a result of the defeats from a pre-tour 34 to 40.

Coach Dai Rees said: "We're very disappointed at the scorelines and for not having a win to show for the tour, but the experience has pushed all of our players well outside their comfort zones in terms of both the playing and training environment."

27 Posts
With the new Kai Tak multi-purpose Stadium set to be built by 2018/19, as announced by Donald Tsang in his 2011-12 policy address, the new arena could be the ideal venue for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

94 Posts
I don't think rugby is a popular sport in Japan (definitely after baseball, soccer and tennis) and even though this is aimed to promote the sport, I do not think that it is worth in 2020, they have Olympics too.
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