16th September 2019

Week commencing 16.09.19

The Rugby World Cup has finally kicked off in Japan and if the opening ceremony and first few games are anything to go by, it looks like its going to be a rip-roaring success. The general public are really enthusiastic and warm, they seem genuinely excited about sharing the experience and showing off the simply extraordinary architectural achievements that have been put in place for the tournament. 

Japan is a stunningly attractive country boasting all of the geographical and urban features that would appeal if one were simply considering a holiday, let alone a festival of rugby between the twenty most successful teams in the world.

Four years ago at the tournament in England, Japan stunned the rugby world with a totally unexpected victory in the group matches, over former world cup champions South Africa. Coached by Eddie Jones, now England’s coach, Japan were keeping possession of the ball, hoping to be awarded a penalty that would allow them to draw the match, which in itself would be an extraordinary achievement. Against the advice of their coach, the Japanese captain opted to gamble on the draw and instead mounted a series of attacking phases that culminated in a totally outrageous try, instantly winning the match, as it was by now deep in to injury time. To those of you who don't know rugby, the best way to explain the enormity of this result would be to imagine Manchester United losing to Torquay United in the FA cup. 

It announced to the world, the serious intent of Japan, as a force to be reckoned with in international rugby, a country that nurtures and rewards players and sees the relationship between sport and the corporate world in the same way that the ‘tier one’ countries do. 

Moreover, the victory epitomised the Samurai spirit prevalent in the world of martial arts and naturally leads one on to thinking about the next sporting event that Japan will be hosting - The 2020 Olympics, which will feature our very own Karate for the first and hopefully not the last time.  

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