Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales training attracts 15,000 in Japan
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A crowd of over 15,000 people saw Wales’ very first training session for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Queues stretching over a kilometre started building three hours up prior to the in Kitakyushu Stadium.
The local inhabitants have definitely embraced the Wales team, singing the national anthem and the hymn Calon L??n as Warren Gatland’s squad undertook their first workout.
Wales’ opening game in Pool D is against Georgia on 23 September.
The Welsh Rugby Union has sent numerous delegations to the Western city over the previous 18 months, headed by former Wales skipper Ryan Jones. They building awareness and have been running training courses.
Rugby World Cup organisers said that the crowd of 15,300 had been the largest ever at the Kitakyushu Stadium and Jones had been overwhelmed:”I have never experienced anything like this in my own career. It is astonishing and it has been very emotional.
“It has been like hosting a party,” he said. “We got up this afternoon and we were saying’oh, I hope it goes well now and people will turn up’. Then to see the temptations and then to find the players’ faces when they came out, it was magic.
“It’s exceeded all our expectations. However, what has really warmed my heart is all that it’s shown how strong the new Welsh rugby is. Folks today know it is usthey adore the colour red, but also how powerful is.
“The fantasy was supposed to turn the city red and we’ve done that. They weren’t a host city and we needed to bring them the Rugby World Cup.
“It’s great as the men are just one week out from our very first game and also to have an adventure like this make it home how beautiful an event it really is. It’ll give the gamers a massive lift.”
Watch Eddie Butler’s Rugby World Cup preview, BBC One Wales, Monday, 16 September, 20:30 BST and later on demand.
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Can’t observe this selector? Visit this site: Choose your Wales XV to play Georgia
All pictures through Huw Evans Images.
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