May 23, 2014 ISN – The winner-take-all Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier between Japan and Hong Kong in Tokyo this Sunday will be streamed live and free on www.rugbyworldcup.com.
South Africa, Scotland, Samoa and USA are waiting to see who will join them in Pool B with the opening game for the Springboks being against the Asia 1 qualifier in Brighton on September 19.
And with millions of Japanese sports fans glued to the television broadcast via J Sports, supporters throughout the rest of the world will be able to tune in via the live stream.
Heading into the final round of the Asian 5 Nations Top 5 2014, the Brave Blossoms and Hong Kong are deadlocked on three wins apiece. Japan has the slenderest of leads courtesy of a superior points difference but the simple scenario is that whichever team wins on Sunday will qualify as Asia 1 for Rugby World Cup 2015.
So not only fans of Japan, Hong Kong or those teams in Pool B will be interested in watching the live stream on www.rugbyworldcup.com but also supporters of those teams in Pool D who will play against the winner of the global repechage, in which the runners-up from Asia will participate.
Head of Rugby World Cup and the Tournament Director, Alan Gilpin, who is in Tokyo for the match, said: “In Asia, we are really down to the business end of the qualification process. Japan and Hong Kong have proved this year that they are the best in the Asian 5 Nations so it has come down to this winner-take-all affair. It’s like an all-Asia final.”
“But who will get the opportunity to take on the 1995 and 2007 champions in Brighton on September 19? We will only know this on Sunday. Japan will be favourites but with such a big prize at stake, I have no doubt Hong Kong will be relishing the opportunity to make history.”
“Making sure the match is streamed live and free around the world is important for the continued development of world Rugby. We must take every opportunity to promote the sport and inform people that there is a good standard of Rugby going on in many different locations around the globe. With Japan having been selected to host Rugby World Cup 2019, it is important to highlight the excellent strides made in the Asia region in recent times.”
Full reaction will appear on www.rugbyworldcup.com and via @rugbyworldcup
About Rugby World Cup:
In total, the Rugby World Cup qualifying process features 83 nations. The qualifiers comprise more than 200 matches, made up of around 3,000 players across six continents, including the strategic markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China as well as USA, Canada and Mexico.
Rugby participation has increased by 18 per cent since RWC 2007 owing to IRB investment that comes from RWC finances, the positive effect of being included in the programme for the Olympic Games 2016 and the global reach of the Game’s flagship tournament.
Rugby World Cup provides an international stage to promote Rugby and generates 95 per cent of the revenue the IRB invests in achieving its strategic goals, including growing the global Game. Therefore the success of the tournament is vital for achieving the IRB strategic goals.
England was awarded RWC 2015 as it offers a mature Rugby market which is likely to generate strong spectator numbers and significant financial returns. Large iconic venues, an experienced host Union, the UK major event infrastructure and a prime commercial Rugby market provide an ideal platform to host the Rugby World Cup.
This tournament also offers an important opportunity to continue the development of RWC tournament planning and delivery models and opportunities to grow the Game across Europe.
Looking further ahead, growing the Game is a key consideration for RWC 2019 in Japan. Asia is a critical market for future growth and Japan is the traditional leader of Rugby in Asia. The JRFU has made significant professional developments in recent years and is well-placed to host such an important event.
A successful tournament in Japan has the potential to generate significant interest in the Game in Asia and ignite a lucrative commercial Rugby market. With 60 per cent of the global population and 80 per cent of the world’s youth living in Asia, this interest could have a considerable impact on the development of global Rugby.
Awarding RWC 2019 to Japan 10 years prior to delivery provides an adequate time scale, if used properly, to prepare the framework to host the tournament in a developing market.
The scale of Rugby World Cup and the importance of using RWC tournaments to achieve wider strategic goals of key stakeholders demand a clear strategic approach for each tournament. These must integrate the IRB goals with those of other key stakeholders, providing a framework for decision making and measuring success.