Give the World Cup to Japan : Laporte

France’s secretary of state for sport, Bernard Laporte, has backed Japan’s bid to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup, saying it would help internationalise the game.


Laporte, who coached his country’s national team at this year’s World Cup co-hosted by France, said that bringing the tournament to Japan was “in the sport’s global interest.”


He said that while he was not involved in voting at the International Rugby Board, “I think it would be good for Japan to organise the World Cup, as this is a rugby nation.”

 

“To organise the World Cup, the priority is to have stadiums, and the infrastructure is there. Rugby also needs this continent,” he told reporters late Thursday on a visit to Tokyo.

Japan, perennial minnows on the international rugby stage, narrowly lost to New Zealand the right to host the 2011 World Cup.


Japan made rugby history in 1995 when they were thrashed by New Zealand 145-17 — the largest-ever losing margin in a World Cup, although this was broken in 2003 when Australia demolished Namibia 142-0 at home.


Laporte is on a three-day visit to Japan in which he met former prime minister Yoshiro Mori, a passionate enthusiast of the sport who is president of the Japan Rugby Football Union.


Laporte was here to organise sporting events next year to mark the 150th anniversary of relations between France and Japan.

 

He hopes to bring France’s leading judokas to Japan, the sport’s homeland, including Teddy Riner who won the +100kg gold at the world championships in September.

Sapa-AFP – Rugbyweek.com

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