Rugby World Cup: Opening game poised to break record for domestic rugby audience

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All Blacks Steve Hansen said some “question marks” were erased in the 36-0 win but there’s still decisions to be made.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is forecast to break global and domestic broadcast records for viewing audiences and a record figure of 40 million people in Japan are set to watch the tournament’s opening game between the hosts and Russia in Tokyo.

The Brave Blossoms and Russia kick off the World Cup on September 20 and it’s anticipated the match and opening ceremony at Tokyo Stadium, the venue where Japan hosted the All Blacks last November (the All Blacks won 69-31), will attract a record domestic rugby audience of 40 million. The previous record was 25 million.

In a statement on Tuesday, World Rugby said the upcoming World Cup, the first held in Asia, would reach more than 800 million households in 217 territories across the world and surpass the record of 683 million homes reached at the last tournament in England in 2015. 

Jamie Henry scoring for Japan in the test they hosted the All Blacks at Tokyo Stadium last November.

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Jamie Henry scoring for Japan in the test they hosted the All Blacks at Tokyo Stadium last November.

Stuff’s full guide to watching the World Cup in New Zealand can be found here. The All Blacks will announce their 31-man squad for Japan at Eden Park at noon next Wednesday.

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