- India is one of 18 nations that will host rugby’s most coveted prize the Rugby World Cup trophy; the Webb Ellis Cup
- The two-year Trophy Tour aims to engage and excite new and existing rugby fans ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019
- Japan will host Rugby World Cup 2019, the first time the tournament will be played in Asia
- World Rugby aims to attract and retain 1 million new players in Asia through Impact Beyond andGet Into Rugby programmes
- The Webb Ellis Cup will be welcomed to India by Hon’ble Sports Minister of India, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in Delhi before visiting Mumbai and Bhubaneswar
Hosted once every four years, the Rugby World Cup is the game’s centrepiece event and the third largest sports event in the world after the summer Olympics and the Football World Cup. Rugby World Cup 2019 takes place in Japan from 20 September – 2 November 2019 and will see the best 20 teams in the world compete for rugby’s greatest prize. Rugby World Cup 2019 is also supported by six worldwide partners: DHL, Emirates, Heineken, Land Rover, Master Card and Société Générale.
Ahead of Japan 2019, a two-year Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour is underway visiting 18 countries aiming to inspire and engage new and existing rugby players and fans. The Trophy Tour supports World Rugby’s Impact Beyond Programme which aims to use World Rugby tournaments as a catalyst for the growth of the game. Project Asia 1 Million, part of Impact Beyond, which aims to attract one million new rugby participants by 2020, has already reached over 500,000 people across Asia.
India is the eighth leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour and follows a recent visit to the Philippines. Since the Tour launched in 2017, the Rugby World Cup has visited both established and emerging rugby nations including: England, Uruguay, Spain, Fiji, Hong Kong and China. The Rugby World Cup is in India for the first time and will also visit countries including Nepal, Malaysia, Pakistan, Brazil and Chile in the lead up to the tournament.
Rugby has a rich history in India, dating back to 1924 when the inaugural All India and South East Asia Rugby Championship was first played on Indian soil. The last two years has seen the biggest growth and development of rugby across the country with India ranked first in Asia and third in the world in terms of participation numbers through World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby programme by reaching over 160,000 participants in 2017. In addition, rugby is now a core sport in the SGFI’s National School Games Calendar for the U14, U17 & U19 Boys and Girls categories as well as part of AIU’s National University Games calendar – yet another major milestone for Rugby India and World Rugby’s ambitions to grow the game globally.
Ahead of the Trophy Tour, Mahesh Mathai, Indian Rugby Football Union Secretary General, said: “We are extremely proud and honoured that India has been chosen as one of the 18 nations that will host the coveted Rugby World Cup as part of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour. It is encouraging that World Rugby has recognized and acknowledged Rugby India’s efforts to grow and develop this beautiful game across India.”
“I would like to call upon the wider rugby fraternity from across the country to join hands and welcome this magnificent trophy to India. We also sincerely thank all those who have supported and invested in the game in India, particularly Rugby India partner Société Générale for the commitment and cooperation they have extended to grow and develop rugby across the country – also one of the six Rugby World Cup 2019 worldwide partners.”
“Japan 2019 is the first time that the tournament will be played on Asian soil and we are glad to be a part of this rugby celebration in the lead up to this exciting tournament.”
Notes to Editors
About Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan is the ninth edition of rugby’s showcase global event and the first in Asia. The world’s top 20 national teams will play in 48 matches hosted across 12 match cities from 20 September – 2 November 2019 for the right to lift the iconic Webb Ellis Cup and be crowned world champions. Rugby World Cup is the sport’s financial engine, generating approximately 90 per cent of World Rugby’s revenues for reinvestment in the global game over the four-year cycle. The record-breaking success of England 2015 is enabling World Rugby to invest £245.8 million in the sport by 2020, eclipsing the previous 2013-16 £201 million investment injection by 22 per cent. All the latest news can be found at www.rugbyworldcup.com and via @rugbyworldcup across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Rugby India
Rugby India, founded in 1998, is the sole governing body for the sport of Rugby in India. Recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport, Govt. of India, Rugby India is a full member of World Rugby, Asia Rugby and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The body is responsible for the growth & development of the sport of Rugby across the country from the grassroots to the high-performance level.
IRFU is the sole governing body of all formats of the sport of Rugby in India for all genders and ages. The formats included are as follows: Rugby Union, Fifteen-a-Side Rugby, Seven-a-Side Rugby, 10-a-Side Rugby, 12-a-Side Rugby, Touch Rugby, Non-Contact Rugby – Tag Rugby, Flag Rugby, Beach Rugby, Snow Rugby, Wheelchair Rugby, Underwater Rugby. Rugby has been included in the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) for all age-groups (U14, U17 & U19 boys & girls) and the National University Games for both Men & Women, under the aegis of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), the sport is also a part of the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) and played by the Paramilitary & Police Forces.
Rugby in India has a rich history and heritage and dates back to 1872. However, only over the last decade has the sport seen a major rise in following and Rugby India has been instrumental in garnering this interest across the country. There has been a significant growth and increase in participation numbers and currently, within India, over 120 Rugby Clubs are affiliated to our State and Districts Associations with competitive Rugby, for both Men & Women, being actively played across 24 States in India. For More Information, follow us on twitter @RugbyIndia or visit our website www.indiarugby.com.