2007 Rugby World Cup
The 2007 Rugby World Cup was the sixth Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. Twenty nations competed for the Webb Ellis Cup in the tournament, hosted by France from 7 September to 20 October. France won the hosting rights in 2003; the competition consisted of 48 matches over 44 days. The eight quarter-finalists from 2003 were granted automatic qualification, while 12 other nations gained entry through the regional qualifying competitions that began in 2004 – of them, Portugal was the only World Cup debutant; the top three nations from each pool at the end of the pool stage qualified automatically for the 2011 World Cup. The competition opened with a match between hosts France and Argentina on 7 September at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris; the stadium was the venue of the final, played between England and South Africa on 20 October, which South Africa won 15–6 to win their second World Cup title. Both England and France bid to host the tournament.
The tender document for the 2007 bidding process was due out on 31 October 2001. Both England and France were invited to re-submit their plans; the International Rugby Board stated that both countries must comply with tender document terms in one bid, but in their second option, could propose alternative ideas. The IRB said "England's original proposal contained three plans for hosting the tournament with a traditional and hybrid format all on offer... The French bid, while complying with the tender document in all other respects, fell outside one of the `windows` in which the IRB wanted to stage an event". England's bids included a two-tier tournament and altering the structure of the qualifying tournament and France had a bid in September/October, it was announced in April 2003. The tournament was moved to the proposed September–October dates with the tournament structure remaining as it was, it was announced that ten French cities would be hosting games, with the final at the Stade de France.
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said that "this decision illustrates the qualities of our country and its capacity to host major sporting events... This World Cup will be the opportunity to showcase the regions of France where the wonderful sport of rugby is rooted". French Sports Minister Jean-François Lamour said that "The organisation of this World Cup will shine over all of France because ten French towns have the privilege of organising matches and to be in the world's spotlight." French cities to host games were Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, St. Etienne and Paris, it was announced that the final would be at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis; the eight quarter-finalists from the 2003 World Cup all received automatic entry, with the other 12 nations coming from qualifying series around the world. Ten of the 20 positions available in the tournament were filled by regional qualifiers, with an additional two being filled by repechage qualification; the qualifying tournament was divided into five regional groups.
Qualifying matches began in 2004 and were completed in early 2007. Including the automatic qualifiers, over 90 nations were in qualifying contention for the final tournament. In July 2005, both Samoa and Fiji were confirmed as the qualifiers from Oceania, as Oceania 1 and 2 respectively. In July of the following year, Argentina qualified as Americas 1 by defeating Uruguay 26–0 in Buenos Aires. Americas 2 was filled in August; the United States went on to qualify as Americas 3 after beating Uruguay in a two-legged tie in early October. That month saw Italy qualify as Europe 1 after defeating Russia 67–7 in Moscow, reaching the first place in its qualifying group. Namibia qualified for their third consecutive World Cup after they earned their spot in France by defeating Morocco over two legs in November. In late 2006, it was announced that the IRB had withdrawn Colombo as the venue of the final Asian qualifying tournament due to security problems. Japan won the only Asian allocation. Georgia was 14 points the better of Portugal over two legs to claim the last European place.
Tonga qualified through repechage after defeating Korea. The final spot went to Portugal. Portugal's qualification was the only change in the 20-team roster from the 2003 World Cup, replacing Uruguay, becoming the only wholly amateur team to qualify. France won the right to host the 2007 World Cup in 2003, it was subsequently announced that four matches would be held in Wales, at Cardiff's 74,500-seat Millennium Stadium. Ireland was to have hosted matches at Lansdowne Road, but opted out because the stadium was being redeveloped. Two of Scotland's Pool C matches were played at Murrayfield Stadium in Scotland; the Scottish Rugby Union was having doubts in early 2006 about hosting these games and whether Scotland would generate enough market demand, but confirmed in April 2006 that the games would be played at Murrayfield. In the end, the Scotland v. New Zealand match failed to sell out, the stadium was less than half-full for the Scotland v. Romania match. There was a substantial increase in the overall capacity of stadiums compared to the 2003 Rugby World Cup – the smallest venue at the 2007 tournament could s
Wales national rugby union team
The Wales national rugby union team competes annually in the Six Nations Championship with England, Ireland and Scotland. Wales have won its predecessors 27 times outright. Wales' most recent championship and Grand Slam victory came in 2019; the governing body, the Welsh Rugby Union, was established in 1881, the same year that Wales played their first international against England. Wales' performances in the Home Nations Championship continued to improve, experiencing their first'golden age' between 1900 and 1911, they first played New Zealand, known as the All Blacks, in 1905, when they defeated them 3–0 in a famous match at Cardiff Arms Park. Welsh rugby struggled between the two World Wars, but experienced a second'golden age' between 1969 and 1980 when they won eight Five Nations Championships. Wales played in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 where they achieved their best result of third. Following the sport allowing professionalism in 1995, Wales hosted the 1999 World Cup and, in 2005, won their first Six Nations Grand Slam.
That was the first Grand Slam won by a team playing most of the matches away from home. Wales won three more Grand Slams in 2008, 2012 and 2019. In 2011, they came fourth in the Rugby World Cup, their home ground is the Millennium Stadium known for sponsorship reasons as the Principality Stadium, completed in 1999 to replace the National Stadium at Cardiff Arms Park. Eight former Welsh players have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Rugby union took root in Wales in 1850, when Reverend Rowland Williams became Vice-Principal at St David's College and introduced the sport there. Wales played their first international on 19 February 1881. On 12 March 1881, the Welsh Rugby Union was formed at The Castle Neath. Two years the Home Nation Championship – now the Six Nations Championship – was first played and Wales did not register a win. However, rugby in Wales developed and, by the 1890s, the Welsh had developed the four three-quarters formation; this formation – with seven backs and eight forwards, instead of six backs and nine forwards – revolutionised the sport and was adopted universally at international and club level.
With the "four three-quarter" formation Wales became Home International Champions for the first time in 1893. Wales next won the Championship in 1900, heralding the first "golden age" of Welsh rugby, to last until 1911, they won two more Triple Crowns in 1902 and 1905, were runners up in 1901, 1903 and 1904. When Wales faced New Zealand's All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in late 1905 they had not lost at home since 1899; this New Zealand team – now referred to as the Original All Blacks – was the first of the southern hemisphere national teams to visit the British Isles, were undefeated on their tour up until that point. Before the match, the All Blacks performed a haka. Wales' wing Teddy Morgan scored a try to give Wales a 3–0 lead, but in the match All Black Bob Deans claimed to have scored a try, only to be dragged behind the try-line before the referee arrived; the referee ruled a scrum to Wales and the score did not change. The loss was the All Blacks' only loss on their 35-match tour. In 1906, Wales again won the Home Championship, that year played the South African national side, the Springboks for the first time.
Wales were favourites to win the match, but instead South Africa dominated in the forwards and won 11–0. Two years on 12 December 1908, Wales played the touring Australians, known as the Wallabies, who they defeated 9–6. In 1909, Wales won the Home Championship and in 1910 – with the inclusion of France – the first Five Nations. In 1911, Wales took the first Five Nations Grand Slam by winning all their matches in the Five Nations, it would be nearly 40 years. England's defeat of Wales at Cardiff in 1913 was Wales' first home loss to one of the Home Nations since 1899, their first home loss to England since 1895; the Great War came in 1914 and rugby was suspended for the duration. The post-First World War years marked a decline in Welsh rugby. An industrial recession struck the principality, hurt South Wales in particular. Welsh international results in the 1920s mirrored the performance of the economy: of their 42 matches they won only 17, with three drawn. Half a million people emigrated from Wales to find work elsewhere during the depression.
Between 1923 and 1928, Wales managed only seven victories – five of them against France. However France managed to defeat Wales that decade. Welsh selection policy reflected the upheavals of the mid-1920s. In 1924, 35 different players were selected for Wales' four matches, with a different captain for each. A resurgence of both econo
Ireland national rugby union team
The Ireland national rugby union team represents the island of Ireland in rugby union. They are ranked third in the world by World Rugby as of 18 March 2019; the team competes annually in the current Six Nations Championship, which they have won fourteen times outright and shared nine times in its various formats. The team competes every four years in the Rugby World Cup, where they reached the quarter-final stage in all but two competitions. Ireland is one of the four unions that make up the British and Irish Lions – players eligible to play for Ireland are eligible for the Lions; the Ireland national team dates to 1875, when it played its first international match against England. Ireland's highest position in the World Rugby Rankings is second, which they reached for the first time in 2015. Eleven former Ireland players have earned induction into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Dublin University was the first organised rugby football club in Ireland, having been founded in 1854; the club was organised by students.
During the third quarter of the nineteenth century, following the adoption of a set of official rules in 1868, rugby football began to spread throughout Ireland, resulting in the formation of several other clubs which are still in existence, including NIFC. Carlow. In 1874, the Irish Football Union was formed. Ireland lost their first test match against England 7–0 at the Oval on 15 February 1875. Both teams fielded 20 players in this match. Ireland's first home game was against England in the same year held at Leinster Cricket Club's Observatory Lane ground in Rathmines as Lansdowne Road was deemed unsuitable; the first match at Lansdowne Road was held on 11 March 1878, with England beating Ireland by 2 goals and 1 try to nil. It was not until 1881. Ireland turned up two men short for their game in Cardiff in 1884 and had to borrow two Welsh players; the first victory Ireland had at Lansdowne Road took place on 5 February 1887. It was their first win over England, by two goals to nil. On the third of March 1888, Ireland recorded their first win over Wales with a goal, a try and a drop goal to nil.
In 1894, Ireland followed the Welsh model of using seven backs instead of six for the first time. After victory over England at Blackheath, Ireland won back-to-back matches for the first time when recording their first win over Scotland on 24 February 1894. Ireland went on to win the Triple Crown for the first time. In the 1890s, Rugby was a game for the Protestant middle class, the only Catholic in Edmund Forrest's 1894 team was Tom Crean. Of the eighteen players used in the three games, thirteen were from three Dublin clubs – Wanderers, Dublin University and Bective Rangers – and the remaining five were from Ulster, they went on to win the Home international championship twice more before the old century was out, so that by 1901 all four of the Home Unions had tasted success at a game, growing in popularity with players and spectators. Such was the level of interest in the visit of the first All Blacks team to Dublin in November 1905 that the IRFU made the match the first all-ticket rugby international in history.
Ireland played only seven forwards, copying the New Zealand method of playing a "rover". The game ended New Zealand 15 Ireland 0. On 20 March 1909, Ireland played France for the first time, beating them 19–8; this was Ireland's biggest victory in international rugby at that time, their highest points tally and a record five tries. 30 November 1912 was the first time the Springboks met Ireland at Lansdowne Road, the 1906 tour game having been played at Ravenhill. Ireland with seven new caps were overwhelmed by a record margin of 38–0, still a record loss to South Africa who scored 10 tries. In 1926, Ireland went into their final Five Nations match unbeaten and with the Grand Slam at stake lost to Wales in Swansea. Ireland again came close to a grand slam in 1927. In 1948, Ireland clinched their first Grand Slam in the Five Nations. Ireland were champions and Triple Crown winners again in 1949. In 1951, Ireland were once more crowned Five Nations champions. 1952 saw only Ireland's second overseas tour, the first for over half a century – as they headed to Argentina for a nine-match trip which included two test matches, their Test record being won one, drawn one.
On 27 February 1954, Ireland played Scotland at Ravenhill in Belfast. The 11 Republic-based players protested "God Save the Queen", an abbreviated anthem known as "the Salute" was instead played. Ireland beat Scotland 6–0, did not play in Northern Ireland again until 2007. In 1958, Ireland beat Australia 9–6 in Dublin, the first time a major touring team had been defeated. Ireland managed just three victories in the Five Nations Championship during the early 1960s: against England in 1961, Wales in 1963 and England again in 1964. 1965 saw an improvement as Ireland beat Scotland. On 10 April 1965 at Lansdowne Road Ireland recorded their first win over South Africa. Ireland beat Australia again in Dublin in 1967. Ireland became the first of the home nations to win in the Southern Hemisphere when they beat Australia in Sydney in
Russia national rugby union team
The Russia national rugby union team, nicknamed the Bears, is administered by the Rugby Union of Russia. The RUR is considered the official successor union of the Soviet Union by World Rugby and the combined CIS team which played in the early 1990s. Since 1992, the team has played as Russia, its first test match as Russia was against the Barbarians in Moscow in June 1992 and the country's first test against an official Test nation was against Belgium that same year. Russia is seen as a Tier 2 union by World Rugby; the team's regular international competition is in the Rugby Europe Championship – referred to as the Six Nations B. In addition, the team participates in World Rugby-run summer tournaments including the Nations Cup, the dormant Churchill Cup, other international fixtures. Russia competed in their first Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011 after qualifying as Europe 2 through their second-place finish in the 2009–10 ENC. Russia finished fifth, scoring one point. Previous qualification campaigns saw elimination to Portugal ahead of the 2007 tournament and expulsion from 2003 qualifying for breaches of eligibility rules.
The team unsuccessfully attempted to qualify for the 1995 and 1999 Rugby World Cups. They will compete in the World Cup in Japan by qualifying as Europe 1 as a result of Spain and Belgium being eliminated; the Rugby Union of the Soviet Union was founded in 1936, although the national side did not play its first official international until 1974. The Soviet Union took time to establish itself, but by the mid-1980s was beating the likes of Italy and Romania; the team was invited to the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup, but declined on political grounds, not least the continued IRB membership of apartheid South Africa. Following the breakup of the USSR, Russian players played for the interim Commonwealth of Independent States team, which played four matches during 1991 and 1992; the first game played by the new Russian national team took place on June 6, 1992, when Russia beat the Barbarians 27–23. Russia's first game against a full IRB member was versus Belgium four months in the 1992/4 FIRA-AER European Trophy.
That edition of the tournament saw Russia secure its first, to-date only, win over Georgia. Russia continued to participate until realignment of FIRA-AER competitions in 2000; the Russian national side has since played its regular competitive rugby in FIRA-AER's European Nations Cup, the second level mirror tournament to the Six Nations. Russia replaced Morocco in the top tier in 2001 after a team-record nine-game win streak and have stayed there since; the Russian side has yet to win the title, but has come close with second-place finishes twice, in the 2009 and the 2007-8 editions. It secured second place in the 2009–10 combined table used in Rugby World Cup qualification. In addition, as part of attempts to secure regular international fixtures the team has played in the now-defunct Superpowers Cup, winning the tournament once, the Nations Cup, the Churchill Cup, most the IRB's International Rugby Series; the Russian side has played representative teams including England Counties, France's equivalent side, South African Super Rugby youth and university sides, New Zealand club teams as it seeks to vary and improve the quality of opposition.
The RUR has been attempting to gain greater participation in the autumn test window, is now being integrated into World Rugby's global test match schedule. The Soviet Union declined to take up its invite to take part in the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup on the basis of the IRB membership by apartheid South Africa; the Soviet Rugby Union was not an IRB member in time for 1991 Rugby World Cup qualifying. In qualifying for the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the first in which the national side was involved, Russia came through preliminary qualifying with wins over Poland and Georgia, before beating Germany but losing to Romania for the Eastern Europe spot. In European qualifying for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, Russia finished fourth in Pool 1 in Round B, not enough to progress from a group including Italy, Georgia and Denmark; the Russian national side was expelled from qualifying for the 2003 Rugby World Cup, due to eligibility issues. Spain, who Russia had beaten in qualifying, protested the fielding of three South African-born players, whom the RUR claimed had qualified through ancestry.
However, the RUR did not produce documentation deemed acceptable by the IRB, Spain were re-instated in qualification in Russia's place. In 2007 Rugby World Cup qualifying, Russia came through European qualifying to a mini-group stage where they were pooled with Italy and Portugal; the winner would qualify directly and the second place team would continue the qualification process, with the third-placed team eliminated. After both losing to Italy and Russia met to determine progression to qualifying round 5. Russia played in Lisbon, 26 -- 23 and dropped out. Russia qualified for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand as Europe 2 after finishing second in the 2008–10 European Nations Cup; this marked the team's World Cup debut, with Russia becoming the 25th side to play at the tournament, where they faced Australia, Ireland and the United States in Group C of the tournament. Despite losing all four of their games, most disappointingly a narrow defeat to the US in its opening fixture in which the Bears scored a bonus point, Russia's debut was viewed as a success, as the team scored the most tries by a debutant in the professional era, the most since Western Samoa in 1991, becoming the first side to score three tries against
Argentina national rugby union team
The Argentina national rugby team is organised by the Argentine Rugby Union. Nicknamed the Pumas, they play in sky blue and white jerseys, Argentina played its first international rugby match in 1910 against a touring British Isles team; as of 12 July 2017 they are ranked 9th in the world by the IRB, making them the highest-ranked nation in the Americas. They have competed at every Rugby World Cup staged since the first tournament of 1987, the country are considered the strongest within the Americas, being undefeated against all but Canada, against whom they have suffered three losses. Although rugby union in Argentina is not as popular as soccer, the Pumas' impressive results since the 1999 World Cup have seen the sport's popularity grow significantly. Argentina has achieved several upset victories, are tough contenders when playing in Buenos Aires, are capable of defeating Six Nations sides. A surprise victory over the hosts France in the first game of the 2007 World Cup took Argentina to fourth in the IRB World Rankings.
The team were undefeated in their pool, reached the semi-finals for the first time, beating Scotland 19–13 in their quarter-final. They were defeated 37–13 by eventual winners South Africa in the semi-finals, but followed this up with a second win over France to claim third place overall. By the end of the competition, the team had reached an all-time high of third in the World Rankings. After their advances in competitiveness and performance during the 2000s, coupled with their location in the Southern Hemisphere, Argentina was the only tier 1 nation that had no regular competition, some, among them former Pumas captain Agustín Pichot, had spoken of them joining the Six Nations. Argentina joined The Rugby Championship in a meeting in Buenos Aires on November 23, 2011. In their first tournament in 2012, Argentina secured a 16–16 draw with The Springboks in only their second game; the 2014 Rugby Championship saw the first Championship-match win for Argentina who defeated Australia 21–17. 2015 proved to be a successful year for Argentine rugby, as the last match of the 2015 Rugby Championship was Argentina's first win over South Africa, where the Pumas defeated the Springboks 37–25 in Durban, they reached another semifinal at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
In the 2016 Rugby Championship, the Pumas split the first two games with the Springboks, winning the second game 26-24 at Salta on August 27, 2016. While they were winless during the 2017 Rugby Championship, the Pumas achieved two wins in their 2018 campaign, defeating both South Africa and Australia for the first time in a single calendar year; the History of the Argentina national team starts with the first international played by an Argentine side v. the British Islands in 1910 when they toured on South America. Argentina gained recognition in 1965, when the team toured South Africa playing a series of friendly matches there. In that tour the national team was nicknamed Los Pumas, a name that became an identity mark for Argentina, remaining to present days. Argentina has taken part in all the Rugby World Cups since the first edition in 1987, their best performance being the third place achieved in 2007. Argentina followed their growing competitiveness in the Rugby Championship with a strong showing in the 2015 World Cup, reaching the semi-finals for the second time.
The national side plays the Rugby Championship since the 2012 edition, after joining the competition one year before. Argentina alternated blue and white jerseys during its first international matches in 1910. In 1927 Mr. Abelardo Gutiérrez of Gimnasia y Esgrima de Buenos Aires proposed that Argentina should play against British Lions wearing a striped light blue and white jersey; that request was accepted and Argentina wore the striped uniform for the first time in its history. Los Pumas play in a shirt in the country's flag colours of light blue and white, white shorts, socks in light blue and white. In 2011, the UAR signed a deal with Nike which became the exclusive kit provider for all its national senior and youth teams, including Pampas XV; the first uniform designed by the American company left the traditional horizontal-striped jersey behind, featuring a single light blue with white shoulders jersey, although it was announced that Los Pumas will wear its traditional uniform again when they play the 2012 Rugby Championship.
On September 1941, Abelardo Gutiérrez suggested a badge with the figure of a lion. The color of the crest was blue; the animal was replaced by a native to Argentine species, so the jaguar was chosen due to his "agility and courage", according to their words. The Pumas nickname is the result of an error made by Carl Kohler, a journalist for the Die Transvaler newspaper in South Africa, while following the team during their first overseas tour – to Southern Africa in 1965, he tried to devise a catchy nickname for the team similar to existing international team nicknames such as All Blacks and Wallabies. He asked Isak van Heerden, the coach of the Natal Rugby team, asked by the SARB to assist with the tour, for ideas, they saw a picture of a type of lion with spots on the UAR crest. Kohler was aware that the Americas had jaguars and pumas, as he was under pressure to submit his article, made a guess and called them the Pumas, instead of the actual jaguar; the mistake stuck, was adopted by the Argentines themselves.
Notes: The Pumas use a variety of stadiums when playing at home. One of the most us
2019 Rugby World Cup
The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be the ninth Rugby World Cup, is to be held in Japan from 20 September to 2 November. This will be the first time the tournament is to be held in Asia, the first time consecutive tournaments have been staged in the same hemisphere, the first time that the event will take place outside the traditional heartland of the sport. Hong Kong and Singapore had expressed interest in hosting some of the matches and were included as part of the JRFU's successful original hosting bid to World Rugby but were not amongst the fourteen locations announced by organisers Japan 2019 on 5 November 2014 that had formally bid for the right to host games; the opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup will take place at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Chōfu, the final match will be held at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. These venue assignments were announced in September 2015 when plans for the tournament were revised by Japan's organizing committee and accepted by World Rugby.
The National Olympic Stadium, being rebuilt for the 2020 Summer Olympics, was the centerpiece of Japan's Rugby World Cup bid, but revisions to the Olympic Stadium plans mandated the World Cup venue changes. The IRB requested that any member unions wishing to host the 2019 or 2015 Rugby World Cup should indicate their interest by 15 August 2008; this would be purely to indicate interest. A record ten unions indicated interest in hosting either the 2015 and/or the 2019 events; the 2019 tournament received interest from nine different nations. Jamaica were the most surprising union to announce an interest in hosting the event, considering they had never participated in a previous World Cup, though they withdrew. Russia initially announced plans to bid for both the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, but withdrew both bids in February 2009 in favour of what proved to be a successful bid for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens. Australia withdrew from the bidding process on 6 May 2009; the three potential hosts – Italy and South Africa – were announced on 8 May 2009.
At a special meeting held in Dublin on 28 July 2009, the International Rugby Board confirmed that England would host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Japan would host the 2019 event. The IRB voted 16–10 in favour of approving the recommendation from Rugby World Cup Ltd that England and Japan should be named hosts; the IRB, RWC Ltd, JRFU and host organisers Japan 2019 went through the process of asking for expressions of interest, meeting with and explaining game hosting requirements to interested parties from late 2013. In May it was announced that twenty-two municipal and/or prefectural organisations had expressed interest from throughout Japan. Interested organisations were asked to enter a formal bid by 31 October 2014. At a press conference on 5 November in Tokyo, organisers Japan 2019 announced that bids from fourteen localities had been received. Secretary-General of the organising committee, Mr. Akira Shimazu advised that amongst the twenty-two interested parties and Niigata's Denka Big Swan Stadium, a 2002 FIFA World Cup venue had decided not to bid.
Shimazu added that the decision of Yokohama not to bid meant that it was a fore-gone conclusion that the new National Stadium in Tokyo would host both the semi-finals, the third-place playoff in addition to the opening game and final. There have been a number of changes to the venues submitted in the JRFU's original bid in 2009. Gone are venues in Hong Singapore. All games will be in Japan; the JRFU's own Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo which might have been expected to host smaller interest games in the capital is missing. The JRFU plumped for the larger, more modern 50,000 seat Nagai multi-purpose stadium as its preferred venue for games in Osaka in 2009 but the Osaka Municipality and East Osaka City governments have submitted the Hanazono Rugby Stadium which they are planning to refurbish as the Osaka venue option. East Osaka City will take over the stadium from long-time corporate owners Kintetsu in April 2015. Kamaishi, Kyoto, Oita and Kumamoto are all venues that weren't part of the JRFU's bid.
While the bids include venues from a broad area of Japan, two parts won't be involved in hosting. Firstly the Hokushin'etsu area, which includes the city of Niigata, secondly the Chugoku Region, including Hiroshima, nearby Shikoku Island. No city in the latter region were venues for games in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, but Hiroshima did host games in the 2006 FIBA World Championship. On 17 July 2015, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that plans to build the new National Stadium would be scrapped and rebid on amid public discontent over the stadium's building costs; as a result, the new stadium would not be ready until the 2020 Summer Olympics. World Rugby released a statement saying that they were disappointed by the announcement "despite repeated assurances to contrary from the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee and Japan Sports Council," and would "need to consider the options relating to the impact of announcement."In September 2015, World Rugby approved the Japan Rugby 2019 organizing committee's revised roadmap for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which sought to resolve the venue inadequacies caused by the floundering development of the National Stadium.
It was agreed that the proposed National Stadium fixtures will be borne by the Ajinomoto Stadium in Chōfu, which will host the opening ceremony and opening match, the Yokohama Stadium, which will host the fina
Georgia national rugby union team
The Georgia national rugby union team nicknamed The Lelos is administered by the Georgian Rugby Union. The team takes part in the annual Rugby Europe Championship and participates in the Rugby World Cup, which takes place every four years. Georgia is considered a second tier rugby union nation and is one of the world's fastest growing rugby nations; the Lelos participate in the Rugby Europe Championship, winning the tournament in 2001, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 seasons. The bulk of the national squad are based in both the Top 14 and lower divisions; this is a practice, popularized by former national team coach, Claude Saurel, a Frenchman. Rugby is one of the most popular sports in Georgia; the national team qualified for the Rugby World Cup four times, first in 2003 – playing against rugby powers such as England and South Africa. The Lelos recorded their first World Cup win in 2007 Rugby World Cup, where they beat Namibia 30–0; as of 6 February 2017, Georgia are ranked 12th in the world by World Rugby.
Since 2013, Georgia has hosted the World Rugby Tbilisi Cup. There were several unsuccessful attempts to introduce rugby union into Georgia, the earliest known being in 1928, with subsequent attempts in 1940 and in 1948. Rugby was introduced to Georgia by Jacques Haspekian, an Armenian man from Marseilles in France who taught the game to students in the late 1950s through to the mid-1960s, although he subsequently returned in France, he is still alive and living in Marseilles, he was interviewed on French radio on the occasion of Georgia playing France in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. The first rugby session was held on October 15, 1959 in Tbilisi, at the racecourse, where 20 people attended the meeting; the first Georgian club formed was the GPI, now known as "Qochebi". Rugby's popularity in Georgia might be explained by its resemblance to the traditional Georgian game named "Lelo" or "Lelo Burti"; this game is still played on occasions in rural areas. A field was selected between two river creeks.
Two teams consisting of the male population of neighboring villages, would face each other. The number of players from each side was not set, but included any able men each village could summon. A large, heavy ball was placed in the middle of the field and the goal of the game was to carry it over the river creek of the opposing side; the first teams appeared in 1959. The Georgia Rugby Union was founded in 1964, but until the late 1980s it was part of the Soviet Union's rugby federation; the rugby union connection between France and Georgia started as links were established by the powerful French Communist Party and many other left-wing organisations. Georgia did not have its own team and its best players would play for the USSR team. In 1988 Georgia produced their first national sevens side. In September 1989, Georgia got together with other FIRA countries to host a tour by Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's first match on the tour was in the wet against Georgia in Kutaisi, west of Tbilisi, which Georgia won 16–3.
The next year Georgia went to Zimbabwe where they played two tests, losing the first in Bulawayo and winning the second 26–10 in Harare. On 9 April 1991 Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union. Georgia was now a rugby union nation but getting matches was not easy: the old Soviet team continued under the name Commonwealth of Independent States. Georgia were limited to the odd game against Ukraine until they gained membership of the World Rugby in 1992. French coach, Claude Saurel, first arrived in Georgia in 1997 with a brief to assess the standard of sport. Saurel went on to work with the Georgia national rugby sevens team, until he was appointed as the national coach in the summer of 1999. Georgia's 1998 loss to Romania saw them play a two legged repechage play-off against Tonga to qualify for the 1999 World Cup. On that occasion Georgia lost the first leg 37–6 in Nukuʻalofa before a 28–27 win in Tbilisi; this was not enough and Georgia failed to qualify. After France and Italy dropped from the reborn European Nations Cup, Georgia became a major force in the tournament.
In 2000, Georgia finished second in the competition. The following year, Georgia improved upon this, winning all five of their matches during the 2000–01 tournament, thus finishing at the top of the table, they clinched the title by beating Romania away 31–20 on the final day. Rugby union took off in the country, the travel and opportunities to land lucrative contracts in France made rugby union a glamorous pursuit in Georgia. Georgia placed second in the 2001–02 tournament; when Georgia played Russia in the European Nations Cup 65,000 people crammed into the national stadium in Tbilisi. Georgian first made an impact at Rugby Sevens by finishing a respectable 10th in the 2001 edition of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Argentina. In October 2002 Georgia faced Russia, in what was at the time one of the most important clashes between the two national sides; the victorious nation would head to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the loser would be relegated to fight it out for a repechage position. Neither nation had been to a World Cup, though Georgia had come close in 1999.
50,000 spectators turned out to the national stadium. Both nations kicked penalty goals in the first half, but Russia moved ahead with a 13–9 lead through a try, but Georgia were able to score a try of their own just before half time, with Levan Tsabadze putting them in front 14–13 at the break. Georgia held on, winning