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Japan: World Rugby boss praises 'spectacular hosts' ahead of RWC 2019 kick off03:46

Japan: World Rugby boss praises 'spectacular hosts' ahead of RWC 2019 kick off

Japan, Tokyo
September 17, 2019 at 12:40 GMT +00:00 · Published

World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper praised Japan for already proving to be "spectacular hosts" of the 2019 Rugby World Cup ahead of the tournament's kick off on Friday. Gosper made the comments in Tokyo, Tuesday, at the opening press conference of rugby union's showpiece event.

"I think that's going to be one of the real differences between this world cup and previous world cups in terms of atmosphere; Japan are already proving to be spectacular hosts," he stated.

Gosper also expressed his hope that some of the tournament's underdogs would spring a few surprises in matches against rugby's traditional superpowers, stressing that financing and match scheduling had been designed to help Tier 2 nations perform at the highest level possible.

"It may come from Fiji, may come from the USA, and of course we're seeing that the hosts are rising nicely and are in good form," he said.

The head of World Rugby also stressed that his organisation has detected no systematic doping in top tier rugby. "In the elite game, [there are] exceptional findings occasionally of [doping], but no systemic problem in terms of, and very confident of our drug testing programme."

The issue of doping in rugby hit the headlines recently after 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year, South Africa wing Aphiwe Dyantyi, tested positive for performance enhancing substances in early July. The player himself has pleaded his innocence.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup kicks off on Friday when hosts Japan take on Russia in Pool A at Tokyo Stadium. The official tournament organisers say that over 96 percent of all tickets have been sold as 400,000 fans continue to arrive in Japan from around the world.

Japan: World Rugby boss praises 'spectacular hosts' ahead of RWC 2019 kick off03:46
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World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper praised Japan for already proving to be "spectacular hosts" of the 2019 Rugby World Cup ahead of the tournament's kick off on Friday. Gosper made the comments in Tokyo, Tuesday, at the opening press conference of rugby union's showpiece event.

"I think that's going to be one of the real differences between this world cup and previous world cups in terms of atmosphere; Japan are already proving to be spectacular hosts," he stated.

Gosper also expressed his hope that some of the tournament's underdogs would spring a few surprises in matches against rugby's traditional superpowers, stressing that financing and match scheduling had been designed to help Tier 2 nations perform at the highest level possible.

"It may come from Fiji, may come from the USA, and of course we're seeing that the hosts are rising nicely and are in good form," he said.

The head of World Rugby also stressed that his organisation has detected no systematic doping in top tier rugby. "In the elite game, [there are] exceptional findings occasionally of [doping], but no systemic problem in terms of, and very confident of our drug testing programme."

The issue of doping in rugby hit the headlines recently after 2018 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year, South Africa wing Aphiwe Dyantyi, tested positive for performance enhancing substances in early July. The player himself has pleaded his innocence.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup kicks off on Friday when hosts Japan take on Russia in Pool A at Tokyo Stadium. The official tournament organisers say that over 96 percent of all tickets have been sold as 400,000 fans continue to arrive in Japan from around the world.