JOHANNESBURG - Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s director of rugby, on Friday welcomed World Rugby’s confirmation of the team camp venues for the Springboks and the rest of the participating teams for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Every Rugby World Cup team camp will consist of an outdoor and indoor training venue, a swimming pool, gym and accommodation and will be utilised by the teams during and in the run-up to the tournament, which starts on 20 September. Camps comprise out-of-city options and match city options (all match city options are no more than 45 minutes away from the match venue).
Erasmus said the Springboks are pleased with the team camp venues allocated to them and that they are looking forward to work closely in the coming months with the respective organising authorities.
The Boks’ allocated team camps for the pool phase of the competition will be in Urayasu City, Omeazaki City, Ichinomiya City and Kobe City.
“We carried out an extensive venue and facilities inspection earlier this year at the proposed team camp venues and we are very pleased and satisfied that all our team training and accommodation requirements will be met,” said Erasmus.
“All these facilities are world class and will ensure an excellent environment for the Springboks to prepare for all of their matches.”
Erasmus also praised the enthusiasm of the city authorities for their engagement and assistance so far: “The various city/prefecture communities are all very excited to host and welcome us into their surroundings and I believe we will receive fantastic hospitality wherever we stay during the tournament.
.@ShaneWilliams11 was known for his fancy footwork on the rugby pitch but beating @andypowell8 at the Japanese game of Kemari proves a different challenge in this episode of Big in Japan!
To find out more about the #RWC2019 host cities, visit https://t.co/xAJG0gIWs9 pic.twitter.com/7bnWqAaQqa
“Of course, the most important thing is to prepare in a professional environment with easy access to all necessary facilities such as training fields and a good gymnasium. We saw during our recce visit that this infrastructure is of a very high standard and will assist us to achieve optimum training results,” he said.
World Rugby announced the provisional selection of 52 camps, where the participating teams will stay and train. These venues were selected in close consultation with the teams to ensure optimum training environment.
According to World Rugby, applications were received by 90 cities and prefectures from across Japan.
Friday’s announcement follows approval by World Rugby of the provisional selection made by the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee after a rigorous process that has team performance and community legacy at heart.
With just over 500 days to go before the start of the tournament, Friday’s announcement represents another major milestone in preparation for Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.
The formal appointment of these cities/prefectures as team camp hosts will be finalised upon the conclusion of an official agreement between the city or prefecture and the organising committee, while the team camps for the knock-out phases will be announced in due course.
President and CEO of the Rugby World Cup 2019 organising committee, Akira Shimazu, said: "All of the facilities that were submitted as part of the application process were of very high quality and thus we were able to provide the qualified teams with a large range of options.”
The Springboks will kick off their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign against the reigning champions, New Zealand, on Saturday September 21 in the International Stadium Yokohama.
The tournament starts on Friday, September 20 with a match between the hosts, Japan, and the qualifier from Europe and culminates with the final on November 2, 2019, in Yokohama.
The quarterfinals are scheduled for October 19 and 20 (in Oita and Tokyo), followed by the two semi-finals on October 26 and 27 (both in Yokohama) and the bronze medal match on November 1 (in Tokyo).
African News Agency (ANA)