Choosing Japan as the host of the tournament, the World Rugby Federation aims to conquer a new continent to internationalize the sport, which is very attractive in competition but not yet widely available.
A sport with a history of over one hundred years. Since 1886, Rugby has established IRFB (International Rugby Football Board), the first institution that manages 15 and 7 football, before being renamed World Rugby as it is today.
It was not until 1987 that rugby football hosted its first World Championship in New Zealand. At that time, the World Rugby Federation had only 8 members. After this event, the nations massively joined the rugby village, so far World Rugby has gathered 105 official member states.
However, rugby is still a strange sport for many countries on the planet, in addition to the quite complex rules, so the World Championship is still a closed club. From 1987 to now only 25 teams have participated in the World Cup and the names that entered the final rounds of the tournament are repeated over 9 seasons like New Zeland, Australia, South Africa or England.
In 2009, the World Rugby Federation unexpectedly chose the country of Sunrise to host the 2019 World Championship. There are many reasons for this choice. Japan is a country with a long tradition of rugby (the British who came to Japan established the first Rugby club in 1866). In Japan, Rugby is the third most popular sport, after only Sumo wrestling and baseball. Japan is also where Rugby is popularized. Universities and big companies all have clubs participating in national championships.
However, the choice of Japan also brings the ambition to open a new economic horizon for rugby in Asia, an area that accounts for 60% of the world’s population but only 370,000 people play this sport.
According to calculations by experts, the revenue of the tournament in Japan is about 2.8 billion euros, although it is lower than the World Championship record in the UK in 2015 (3 billion euros) but the Japanese tournament will be more profitable.