World Rugby has approved a revised roadmap to underpin the successful delivery of a ground-breaking Rugby World Cup 2019 that will further the growth of rugby in Japan, across Asia and around the world.
Having undertaken a full review and analysis of the hosting model as a consequence of the loss of Tokyo's new National Stadium as a host venue, World Rugby's Executive Committee is satisfied that the revised vision proposed by the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee, with the full support of the Japan Government, meets the required criteria set by owners Rugby World Cup Limited and the World Rugby Council.
Specifically, the new vision for Japan 2019 features:
1. An exciting revised inventory of venues that has team and fan experience at heart and will showcase the very best of Japan to the world
2. The Tokyo Stadium will replace the new National Stadium within the inventory of 12 host venues the length and breadth of Japan
3. The Tokyo Stadium will host the opening ceremony and opening match
4. The iconic Yokohama Stadium will host the Rugby World Cup 2019 final
5. Full government support for the successful staging of the tournament
With Japanese rugby currently on a high as the national team enjoys its most successful Rugby World Cup campaign in 24 years, attention now turns to the delivery of Asia's first Rugby World Cup and a tournament that will inspire participation across the world's most populous continent.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "These are exciting, unprecedented times for Japan Rugby and this revised roadmap reinforces and reflects the shared vision and mission to deliver a Rugby World Cup that will be great for Japan, great for Asia and great for rugby.
"We look forward to working in full partnership with the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee and the Japan Rugby Football Union as we look ahead to what promises to be a spectacular and highly-successful event that will reach and inspire new audiences.
"We would like to thank our partners in Japan for their committed response to the stadium issue and all of the work they have undertaken, and in particular the Prime Minister of Japan and his government, Japan Sports Council and the Governor of Tokyo and Mayor of Yokohama for their full support.”
Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee CEO Akira Shimazu said: "This revised plan is an exciting blueprint for success and we are confident that Rugby World Cup 2019 will be very special tournament for Japan and global rugby.
"We are also confident that the selection of the Tokyo Stadium for the opening match and the final in the International Stadium Yokohama will provide a spectacular backdrop for the tournament across Japan, throughout Asia and around the world."
The 12 Rugby World Cup 2019 host venues are: Sapporo Dome; Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium (interim name); Kumagaya Rugby Ground; Tokyo Stadium; International Stadium Yokohama; Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium; Toyota Stadium; Higashiosaka City Hanazono Rugby Stadium; Kobe City Misaki Park Stadium; Higashi Hirao Park Hakatanomori Football Stadium; Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium; Oita Stadium.