2019 Rugby World Cup to ex­pand sport beyond tra­di­tional base: Beau­mont

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

THE 2019 Rugby World Cup in Ja­pan, the first in Asia, is an op­por­tu­nity for the sport to ex­pand beyond its tra­di­tional com­mu­ni­ties, World Rugby chair­man Bill Beau­mont said yes­ter­day.

“With over 75 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion an hour’s travel time from a Rugby World Cup venue, it will be ac­ces­si­ble to all and will en­sure the tour­na­ment is for all of Ja­pan,” Beau­mont said at the World Fo­rum on Sports and Cul­ture in Ja­pan.

With 406 000 in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, the 2015 World Cup in Eng­land gen­er­ated £2.3 bil­lion ($2.82 bil­lion) in eco­nomic out­put, mak­ing it the most suc­cess­ful event in the sport’s history.

For­mer Eng­land cap­tain Beau­mont ex­pected Ja­pan to ex­pe­ri­ence a sim­i­lar range of eco­nomic ben­e­fits for stag­ing the tour­na­ment.

“As a low-in­vest­ment, high-re­turn event, Ja­pan 2019 will de­liver mul­ti­ple sport­ing, eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fits on a na­tional and re­gional ba­sis over the six weeks of com­pe­ti­tion,” he was quoted as say­ing by the Ky­odo news agency.

“Up to 400 000 in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors and 40 000 new jobs have been fore­cast to con­trib­ute to an ex­pected eco­nomic out­put of up to £2.3 bil­lion.”

World Rugby chief ex­ec­u­tive Brett Gosper has pre­vi­ously ex­pressed con­cerns that Ja­pan may be un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the po­ten­tial eco­nomic im­pact of the event and Beau­mont stressed that the tour­na­ment’s ben­e­fits is com­pa­ra­ble to that of other ma­jor sport­ing events.

“It (Eng­land 2015) was the global sport­ing event of the year and in some as­pects, big­ger than the Lon­don 2012 Olympic Games,” the 64-year-old said.

“Over 2.47 mil­lion tick­ets were sold across 48 matches with an av­er­age of 98 per­cent of tick­ets sold across all venues, the most of any rugby tour­na­ment and a higher av­er­age than the last Olympic Games or Fifa World Cup.”

Ja­pan’s spir­ited 2015 World Cup run when they be­came the first side to win three pool games but failed to make the last eight has been key to the grow­ing in­ter­est for the sport in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to Beau­mont.

“Visit­ing the ‘Land of the Ris­ing Scrum’ I am al­ready see­ing the knock-on ef­fect of Ja­pan’s Rugby World Cup 2015 suc­cess,” he added.

“From ‘Goro­ma­nia’ among ex­cited chil­dren to the height­ened in­ter­est from cor­po­rates in Ja­pan.” — Reuters

World Rugby chief ex­ec­u­tive Brett Gosper

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