Japan land 2019 rugby World Cup
Japan celebrate becoming first Asian hosts of tournament as England win 2015 bid.
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2009 05:54 GMT

The Springboks won the 2007 World Cup which was hosted by France [GALLO/GETTY]
Japan will become the first Asian country to host the rugby World Cup after winning their bid for the 2019 tournament.  

The International Rugby Board (IRB) awarded the 2015 tournament to England after following the recommendation of organisers for the next two World Cups.

South Africa and Italy also tendered bids for the 2015 and 2019 World Cups but were considered outsiders.

It was also announced on Tuesday that Britain will host the Rugby League World Cup in 2013.

'Historic day'

"The God of rugby smiled on us today," said Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) president Yoshiro Mori after the IRB's announcement in Dublin.

"I am filled with emotion to be a part of this historic day for Japan and for rugby around the world."

"I feel extremely excited and proud as a Japanese. The government will cooperate fully to help create a wonderful World Cup that will bring hope and enthusiasm to many young people," Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said in a statement.

Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) last month named England, bidding only for 2015, and Japan as its preferred hosts for the next two tournaments.

"I thank the IRB for taking this step towards the globalisation of rugby," Japan's bid committee chairman Nobby Mashimo said.

"Japan has much to offer the rugby World Cup. We have a superb transport system, strong infrastructure and world-class stadiums.

"We are honoured to welcome the global rugby family to our country and for the first time ever to Asia."

Japan, Asia's top rugby nation, were narrowly beaten by New Zealand in the voting for the 2011 tournament and were expected to be front-runners to host the 2015 edition.

Japanese officials expressed satisfaction at RWCL's recommendation to bring the World Cup to Asia for the first time in 2019.

A recent report conducted by Deloitte calculated that the World Cup could generate more than $3.27 billion in economic benefits for the host nation.

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