Sep 20, 9:13 AM EDT Newsletter Signup BusinessTechnologyWorldNationalMedia & CultureOpinionSportsLuxury World By Richard CARTER 09/20/19 AT 9:05 AM Hosts Japan kicked off the first Rugby World Cup in Asia with victory Friday as the game seeks to attract new converts outside its traditional heartlands in Europe and the southern hemisphere.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was among the home fans decked out in red and white replica shirts as Kotaro Matsushima’s hat-trick ensured a 30-10, bonus-point win over Russia at Tokyo Stadium.The opening ceremony saw children representing the 20 competing teams belting out the World Rugby anthem “World in Union” before former All Black skipper Richie McCaw brought in the glittering Webb Ellis Cup.Prince Akishino officially declared the tournament open, with World Rugby chief Bill Beaumont saying: “This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for… We can all be very proud tonight. You have made history.”The six-week tournament, which culminates on November 2, promises to be one of the most open in history, with several teams considered capable of denying New Zealand an unprecedented third straight title.Organisers hope stars such as All Black Beauden Barrett, Ireland’s Johnny Sexton or South Africa’s Siya Kolisi will spark enthusiasm for the game in Japan… Read full this story
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