Fourteen cities have submitted bids to host matches when Japan stages the Rugby World Cup in 2019, organisers announced today (Wednesday).
The tournament’s organising committee has now closed the submission process for bidding cities and will assess each proposal before announcing the successful candidates in the first quarter of next year.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) said the full list of applicants is: Sapporo City, Iwate Prefecture and Kamaishi City, Sendai City, Saitama Prefecture and Kumagaya City, Tokyo, Shizuoka Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture and Toyota City, Osaka Prefecture and Higashi Osaka City, Kyoto City, Kobe City, Fukuoka City, Oita Prefecture, Kumamoto Prefecture and Kumamoto City, Nagasaki Prefecture.
Stadium capacities range from 80,000 in the capital to 15,000 at Kamaishi City in the Iwate Prefecture.
Rugby World Cup 2019 chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “It is very encouraging for us to note the huge level of interest in Japan to host matches for rugby’s showcase event. The fact that the tournament has the full backing of local and national government is particularly pleasing and it is essential for its success. Japan has a strong history of delivering world-class sports events with an excellent infrastructure, state-of-the-art venues and people who love to engage and be part of the celebration.”
Japan Rugby 2019 chief executive Akira Shimazu added: “The standards required to host matches at Rugby World Cup are very high but, nevertheless, many local governments have submitted applications. I am confident that despite any challenges each applicant may face, they will be up to the task. The host cities will be our full partners, and we will select them in a fair and comprehensive process to ensure a Rugby World Cup that is successful nationwide and worldwide.”
England will host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where there will be 13 host venues in 11 cities, including the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. New Zealand 2011 spread the competition across 12 stadia in 11 cities.