Rugby spirit is going global on the journey to Rugby World Cup
Former French player, Thomas Castaignede joins Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019, Societe Generale to share his excitement as the game’s spirit spreads to new countries, communities and fans on the journey to Japan.
“Once upon a time rugby may have been seen as a sport played and dominated by just a few countries but times have changed and the game has evolved to embrace new communities and nations across the globe in a new era of rugby. Rugby’s governing bodies have introduced new opportunities to spread the values of rugby across more nations than ever before.
In November 2019, twenty countries across all seven continents will be greeted in Japan for the first time ever. It offers a unique opportunity for the community right across Asia and people are relishing the opportunity to experience Japan’s culture and to feel the rugby spirit up-close with over 3.5 million tickets already applied for. It is shaping up to be a truly global experience!
With the journey to Rugby World Cup Japan well under way, the 20th and final spot has remained open to four nations lesser known on the global rugby scene in a last-chance tournament. The new initiative brings four countries with four very different playing styles together for one last qualification attempt and this edition included Kenya, Hong Kong, Canada and Germany.
The new tournament benefits everyone including fans, the players themselves and the global game with a wider range of styles and talent expanding rugby’s appeal and audience. Although three of these four teams won’t make it to Rugby World Cup, it provides an invaluable opportunity for them to grow and as the late Nelson Mandela used to say,
‘I never lose. Either I win, or I learn.”
It is fantastic to have Japan as first-time hosts and other initiatives being embraced by World Rugby to provide new communities the opportunity to take part. It sends a clear message that everyone is welcome in rugby and provides a great opportunity to expand the game to all!
I look forward to seeing people across all cultures embrace the game on the journey to Rugby World Cup and beyond."