JOHANNESBURG — The 2019 edition of the Rugby World Cup might be more than 16 months away, but SA Rugby is already preparing for the big event. They might not know the names of two of the teams the Springboks will face in the round robin stage of the tournament (the best they’ve got is Africa 1 and Repechage Winner), but they do know the name of the city that will host the team in the build-up to their opening match – easily the biggest match of the group stage, against New Zealand on 21 Sept 2019. SA Rugby’s CEO Jurie Roux and Director of Rugby (and Bok coach) Rassie Erasmus have been scouting around Japan for the best possible host and have settled on Kagoshima City. Erasmus has three and a half weeks before his first Test in charge of the Springboks. The Boks face Wales in Washington on June 2nd. The Welsh coach Warren Gatland has announced a 31-man squad for the tour which includes two Tests against the Pumas. – David O’Sullivan
From SA Rugby
Kagoshima City will host the Springboks’ pre-tournament holding camp for the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, the City and SA Rugby confirmed on Wednesday.
In the build-up to the Springboks’ participation in the RWC2019, the Kagoshima City will host the South African rugby squad for a pre-tournament camp from 7 to 12 September 2019 before the South African team reports for official Rugby World Cup duty at their Japanese base in Tokyo.
According to the agreement between SA Rugby and Kagoshima City, the Springboks will stay at the Sun Royal Hotel in Kagoshima, use the nearby Shiranami Stadium for field and gymnasium sessions and will have full access to the Kamoike Dome and swimming pool for the duration of their weeklong stay.
SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, praised the Kagoshima City and Prefecture for making the pre-tournament camp a reality.
“The holding camp is a very important part of the Springboks’ RWC2019 preparations and I therefore want to sincerely thank the Honourable Mayor of Kagoshima City, Mr Hiroyuki Mori, for making all of this possible,” Roux explains.
He added: “The fact that we are able to announce this arrangement well in advance is really a testimony of the City’s genuine desire to host the Springboks in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup. Kagoshima City is looking forward to welcome us next year, and we are extremely proud that they have invited the Springboks as their guests.”
According to Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, numerous positive factors tilted the scale in favour of Kagoshima City as a venue of choice for the Springboks.
“Apart from the splendid weather conditions during that time (an average of over 27 degrees), the quality of training and accommodation facilities and – most importantly – the easy and accessible location of all training amenities, makes it a top-class training venue,” said Erasmus.
“All their facilities are first-class and will ensure an excellent environment for the Springboks to complete our pre-tournament preparations.”
The Honourable Mayor of Kagoshima City, Mr Hiroyuki Mori, said they are delighted to confirm the visit of the Springboks to Kagoshima City: “We’re greatly pleased and honoured to be chosen as the prestigious South African team’s pre-tournament camp venue,” said Mr Mori.
“The city, which is blessed with splendid scenery, has excellent training facilities. In addition, the city is experienced in hosting national seven-a-side, football and various rugby team camps in the past. Kagoshima citizens will welcome the Springboks to their City and I am sure they will prepare our delicious cuisine such as black beef, for the visitors! We are all looking forward to the camp and will do our utmost to support the Springboks, in cooperation with Kagoshima Prefecture and the Rugby Association,” added Mr Mori.
The Springboks will conduct two open training sessions in during their stay in the city and also plough back into the local community by hosting a coaching clinic for local rugby coaches in the Kagoshima Prefecture.
The Springboks will kick off their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign against the reigning champions, New Zealand, on Saturday 21 September in the International Stadium Yokohama.
The tournament starts on Friday, 20 September with a match between the hosts, Japan, and the qualifier from Europe and culminates with the Final on 2 November 2019 in Yokohama. The quarter-finals are scheduled for 19 and 20 October (in Oita and Tokyo), followed by the two semi-finals on 26 and 27 October (both in Yokohama) and the bronze medal match on 1 November (in Tokyo).
The Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup match schedule is (with local and SA times):
Saturday, 21 September: South Africa vs New Zealand, International Stadium Yokohama (18h45 / 11h45)
Saturday, 28 September: South Africa vs Africa 1, City of Toyota Stadium (18h45 / 11h45)
Friday, 4 October: South Africa vs Italy, Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa (18h45 / 11h45)
Tuesday, 8 October: South Africa vs Repechage winner, Kobe Misaki Stadium (19h15 / 12h15)
About Kagoshima City
Sunny Kagoshima (鹿児島) has a personality to match its climate, and has been voted Japan’s friendliest city nationwide. Its backdrop/deity is Sakurajima, a very active volcano just across the bay. It is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the south western tip of the island of Kyushu in Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin. The city is often compared with its Italian sister city Naples due to a similarly mild climate, palm tree lined streets and Sakurajima, the active volcano in the bay of Kagoshima.