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Tokyo welcomes Webb-Ellis trophy as Japan counts down to 2019 Rugby World Cup

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Tokyo welcomes Webb-Ellis trophy as Japan counts down to 2019 Rugby World Cup

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Tokyo is marking two years until Japan hosts the Rugby World Cup with a ceremony to herald the arrival of the coveted Webb-Ellis Trophy – named after the sport’s founding father.

In 2019 the country will become the first Asian nation to host the tournament, making it the first Rugby World Cup to be held outside the sport’s traditional heartland.

The event, which saw a performance of New Zealand’s traditional Haka dance and rugby workshops for the next generation of players, was somewhat overshadowed by a warning that organisers have not made sufficient progress in key areas.

Rugby World Cup Director Alan Gilpin who was in Tokyo to conduct a tournament review said that vital work needs to be done to accelerate the selection of training venues.