Rugby World Cup 2019 LIVE: Opening ceremony and Japan vs Russia latest news and updates

    Rugby World Cup 2019 LIVE: Opening ceremony and Japan vs Russia latest news and updates

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    The 2019 Rugby World Cup finally gets underway this morning and you can follow live coverage of both the opening ceremony and Japan vs Russia below.

    The spectacular opening ceremony at the Tokyo Stadium promises to “draw on deeply symbolic Japanese cultural references to illustrate the passion, expectation and excitement the people of Japan have for the tournament”. The events will begin with an exhibition flight by Blue Impulse, the aerobatics squadron of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force.

    After that, the tournament will finally begin as host nation Japan take on relative rugby minnows Russia. You can follow live updates from Japan below:

    We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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    And we’re off! The 2019 Rugby World Cup is officially under way!


    This is it! The 60-second count down is under way.


    Oo, we’ve got movement down below. To give you a picture of what I’m looking at, a great white canvas, with a black frame, is covering the majority of the pitch while groups of people dressed in black and red take up their position around the edges. Let’s see what they’ve got to offer.


    Not long to go now, folks. The atmosphere is slowly building as the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’ blasts through the speakers. Japanese music at its finest!


    We’ve already been treated to a performance from the Blue Impulse, Japan’s equivalent of the Red Arrows. Given I’ve been trapped inside an accreditation centre for the past hour or so, I unfortunately missed such a spectacle. I’m told it didn’t last particularly long…


    Right, hello all! After much back and forth, I’m finally in place here at the Tokyo Stadium. We’ve got 15 minutes until the opening ceremony gets underway and already the crowd have got a Mexican wave going. Not too sure what to make of that… safe to say all those packed in here are excited for what’s to come.


    Switching lanes for a moment, this is a particularly interesting breakdown of what it takes to prepare a rugby team for an event like the World Cup in 2019, from Sam Peters:


    Or if you want a slightly more artistic interpretation:


    Here’s what the 20 teams are all playing for: the William Webb Ellis Cup.


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    The Indy Rugby Podcast is here, and with you several times a week throughout the Rugby World Cup, with insight from our writers and other rugby experts out in Japan.

    Jack de Menezes and Samuel Lovett are your hosts for the fourth episode, which looks at Rob Howley’s howler, and asks how a World Cup win would change the legacies of Joe Schmidt and Warren Gatland. 

    Available on your preferred podcasting outlet, or via this link:


    Team News – Russia

    Fans of Sale Sharks willbe familiar with a couple of Russia’s stars, with prop Vladimir Morozov and now-departed secon

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