Japan confirmed as host of Rugby World Cup at last
Asia will host its first Rugby World Cup in 2019 after the International Rugby Board Council voted in favour of Japan, during a meeting this afternoon at IRB headquarters in Dublin. England will host the 2015 event, the second time it has hosted the event.
Both countries had previously been recommended to the IRB by Rugby World Cup Ltd. following a comprehensive analysis of the four tenders. South Africa and Italy miss out. The IRB Council today voted 16-10 in favour of accepting the recommendations put before them, a simple majority enough, under IRB rules, to give Japan and England the hosting rights.
The IRB Council examined a 71 page report put together by RWCL following a lengthy tender process. Speculation had mounted in recent days that South Africa might be awarded the 2015 event instead of England, but IRB president Bernard Lapasset’s announcement confirmed that the 2003 World Champions will host in six years time.
The news marks the end of what some have seen as a tortuous tender process, the first time the IRB has chosen to award rights to two World Cups simultanrously. That is an attempt by the governing body to provide long-term guarantees about future revenue sources and ensure long-term sponsorship and television rights agreements.
"As the revenue generated from RWC is vital to the IRB’s ongoing development plans, the RWCL Board considered in its review process the preference for RWC to be held in one of the major Rugby markets on a regular basis,” said Lapasset. “However, the commercial success of RWC also means that we can now consider placing the tournament in developing rugby markets to both reflect and assist the game’s continued strategic growth. It is all about finding the right combination."
Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa and Wales had previously announced they would bid for the 2015 competition with Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa and Wales bidding for 2019. However, only England, Italy, Japan and South Africa ultimately tendered for the tournament. "It is a tribute to the health of the game and the enormous prestige of RWC that the field was so strong," said Bernard Lapasset, chairman of RWCL and the IRB. He praised the unsuccessful countries, saying: "Both Italy and South Africa would be capable of hosting outstanding Rugby World Cups now or in the future."
Japan had previously lost out on the 2011 World Cup, which was controversially handed to the more established rugby nation of New Zealand despite a widespread feeling that the Japanese had presented a superior technical bid. The country also recently hosted the IRB Junior World Championship. Lapasset said Japan, "has the ability to deliver an outstanding tournament in 2019." Speaking in June, he added: "A tournament in England would allow the IRB to maximise funding available for investment in the game through a strong commercial programme and a great Rugby World Cup showcase."
The last World Cup, in France two years ago, was broadcast to an audience of over four billion, generating a net surplus of UK£122.4 million. The surplus is reinvested by the IRB across its union members around the world.
Japan Airlines backs the bid - 17 September 2010
Japan secures corporate backing for Fifa World Cup bid - 04 February 2010
Toyota expands its involvement in Japanese rugby union - 26 March 2012
IMG negotiates rugby deal with government-backed Sky - 09 April 2009
KPMG announced as 2011 Rugby World Cup partner - 03 June 2010
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