2019 RWC showpiece stadium scrapped

Date published: July 17 2015

Tokyo's proposed new National Stadium won't be ready in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, organisers announced on Friday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that plans for the grandiose new stadium, which was scheduled host the final of the first Rugby World Cup held in Asia, have been scrapped because of escalating costs.

"We are scrapping our plans for the stadium, and starting from zero," Abe told reporters.

The proposed stadium – set to be built on the site of the 1964 Olympic stadium which was demolished recently – was also supposed to be the centre piece of the 2020 Olympic Games. The new structure had been heavily criticised as being too expensive and unsuited to the site.

"World Rugby is extremely disappointed by today's announcement that the new National Stadium will not be ready to host Rugby World Cup 2019 matches despite repeated assurances to the contrary from the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee and Japan Sports Council," World Rugby said in a statement.

"The National Stadium was a compelling and important pillar of Japan's successful bid to host Rugby World Cup 2019, which was awarded to the Japan Rugby Football Union in 2009.

"World Rugby is urgently seeking further detailed clarification from the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee and will need to consider the options relating to the impact of today's announcement."

No definite plans have been announced for a replacement venue, but media reports suggested the Rugby World Cup Final could be held at Yokohama's International Stadium, which hosted the 2002 football World Cup Final.