• Beaumont on Japan ’19: Probably the greatest

    The World Cup in Japan has been praised by World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont as being the ‘most ground-breaking’ for bringing new fans to the sport.

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    Beaumont was talking in the aftermath of the Springboks 32-12 win over England and described the event as ‘probably the greatest Rugby World Cup’.

    The first-ever tournament to be hosted in Asia will be followed up by a return to Europe for France 2023. They have a tough act to follow by all accounts.

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    ‘It has certainly been the most ground-breaking in terms of bringing the game to new audiences and attracting new fans to the sport. It has been amazing what we’ve experienced over the last six weeks, culminating in an outstanding final,’ said Beaumont.

    ‘The dual selection process will be launched in November 2020 and will enable World Rugby to select an optimal combination of hosts rather like what we’ve achieved here,’ he said.

    World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper was another to praise the event, saying that statistics back up Beaumont’s claim.

    ‘A world-record TV audience, 99% stadium attendance, 1.2 million in the fanzones. More than 1.7 billion social media views,’ he said.

    ‘Possibly the largest digital sports event of 2019, with 1.8 million new participants in Asia and 770,000 new participants in Japan.’

    Watch: Federer congratulates the Boks

    Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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    Wade Pretorius