30 Mar. 2012 - HSBC Sevens World Series Brings Top Rugby Back to Tokyo
Tokyo will welcome yet another top sporting event when the Tokyo Sevens, the newest addition to the HSBC Sevens Series, will be held at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium. As some of the world’s finest rugby players will perform in Japan’s vibrant capital for the seventh of nine legs in the HSBC Sevens World Series, Tokyo 2020 will celebrate the city’s latest opportunity to showcase both its organisational expertise and passion for international sport. The event will be held on March 31 and April 1.
Marking a comeback to the grand-prix style event after a long awaited 11 year absence, the Rugby Sevens will demonstrate the metropolis’s strong organisational skills for hosting large-scale sporting events. The tournament will bring together 16 countries from five continents. The Tokyo population looks forward to packing the stadiums, displaying their enthusiasm for the sport and readiness to play host for the Rugby World Cup 2019, one of the most popular international sporting events in the world.
New Zealand Captain D.J. Forbes said: “Tokyo is quite a beautiful country. It is nice and clean and the people are very welcoming here. I’ve done some sight-seeing and jogging, and there’s no reason why I wouldn’t want to come here and do a sport.”
“As far as the whole Sevens atmosphere goes, it’s like a party,” added South Africa Captain Kyle Brown. “Tokyo is all about good accessibility to stadiums and hotels for the convenience of fans. I definitely think the city has the ability to put on a good show in Tokyo 2020. I went to a coaching clinic yesterday and 168 kids showed up. With a couple more years of practicing these kids are going to be great. They understand the game and have good skills and most of all their work ethic is unbelievable; they don’t stop running until they are told to stop. It’s really good to see rugby here in Tokyo.”
Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium, one of the football venues for the Tokyo 1964 Games, is the spiritual home of Japanese rugby and the headquarters of the Japan Rugby Football Union. The meticulous preservation and continued active service of these facilities underpin Tokyo’s long-standing dream to draw on the enduring 1964 legacy and host the Olympic and Paralympic Games once again in 2020, including for Rugby Sevens, which will debut at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games.
Tsunekazu Takeda, President of both the Japanese Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020, said: “I am pleased that Japan is hosting yet another one of the world’s most international sporting events. Considering the global audience that such competitions attract, top-class facilities and organisation are prerequisites. Tokyo is well-equipped to stage leading global sports events thanks to its winning combination of proven success, strong infrastructure and incredible venues. Tokyo is fully capable of staging the biggest sporting event of all in the heart of the city in 2020, where Rugby Sevens could provide many headlines.”
Japan has a sound track record of successfully hosting top tier sports events. In the past half year, the nation has hosted more than one such event per month, including the Tokyo Marathon 2012 (Feb), FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011 (Dec), FIVB Volleyball World Cup Japan 2011(Nov), the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Tokyo 2011 (Oct) and 2011 ITU World Championship Series Yokohama (Sep). Thanks to quality accommodation facilities and the Japanese collective passion for sports, athlete experiences at these unforgettable events are truly unique.
Japan Captain, Takayuki Yamauchi said: “It is a great honour for Japan to host this marvellous tournament. This is another important step for Japan in its long and prosperous relationship with global rugby, especially following the announcement that Japan will host Rugby World Cup 2019. With Rugby Sevens now set as an Olympic competition from 2016, it would be wonderful if Tokyo hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, allowing us an opportunity to perform the dynamic and exciting performances at home again.”
The HSBC Sevens World Series, which began in the 1990 / 2000 season as the Sevens World Series, is a grand-prix style competition for the premier international Rugby Sevens. The champion will be decided by total points accumulated through nine rounds. Countries including Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Hong Kong (China), Kenya, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Wales, and host nation Japan will compete for the right to be crowned winners of the inaugural Tokyo leg.