After ten years in the making, the Rugby World Cup has finally arrived in Japan. There is much excitement after the long years of preparation and build-up as the host team Japan Brave Blossoms take on Russia Bears during the opening day match up at the Tokyo (Ajinomoto) Stadium in Chofu.
Ahead of the main game event at 19:45 at the Tokyo Stadium, fans along with a worldwide television audience numbering in the hundreds-of-millions, will be captivated by a truly unique opening ceremony.
Here’s What to Expect at the Rugby World Cup 2019 Opening Day
The opening ceremonies will combine the ancient with the modern as the opening ceremony will draw on deeply symbolic Japanese cultural references, encapsulating the theme of a Japanese festival, as shared in a report by Kyodo News.
The ceremony tells the story of the mythical dawn of time, rugby’s origins and its arrival in Japan, and the blossoming of Rugby World Cup into today’s global showpiece, as the ninth edition breaks new ground by being hosted in Asia for the first time.
According to Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee CEO Akira Shimazu in a statement, “The message of our opening ceremony is that connections made through sport, through both its simplicity and universal appeal, can help build better understanding and friendship by inspiring people of all nations with the promise of a bright, positive future.”
He added, “From rugby enthusiasts to fans of Japanese culture, the opening ceremony has something for everybody, setting the scene for an unforgettable tournament.”
Fans who were able to snag a ticket for the sold-out opening day event are encouraged to take their seats any time from 17:00 onwards to catch a special pre-match show and the spectacular opening ceremony. The program launches with an exhibition flight by Blue Impulse, the aerobatics squadron of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force, which will then be followed by various performances, with the opening ceremony commencing at 18:30.
The opening day match between Japan and Russia is expected to be a competitive affair, though the host team is the favorite to begin the tournament with a victory. The two squads squared off November last year in England with Japan escaping with a slim 32-27 victory after trailing at halftime by 12 points.
Leading the way for Japan will be back-row captain Michael Leitch, who was instrumental in the victory, just as he was in leading Japan to the greatest shock in the history of the sport four years ago when Japan defeated South Africa in the World Cup’s pool stages. Leitch will carry behind him the hopes of the nation for an impressive showing at the important tournament this autumn, and he’ll need to be up to the task.
Limited quantities of Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets are currently sold at the event’s official website.
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