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Rugby World Cup trophy visits Tokyo

AFP-JIJI

Rugby’s Webb Ellis Cup, awarded to the winner of the World Cup, has made its first stop in Tokyo of a global tour to promote the 2015 edition in England.

The silver-gilt trophy landed at Narita airport on Thursday after a flight from London and will visit 15 countries over the next year.

On Friday it was shown to media, rugby players and officials at Keio University — where the sport was first played in Japan in 1899 — and will be displayed in the country for five days.

The Webb Ellis Cup, inaugurated in 1987, will be on show at a Buddhist temple in Asakusa in Tokyo and at a sumo arena where a tournament is being held.

It will also be displayed at the capital’s National Stadium where an Asian Five Nations match between Japan and Hong Kong will be played on Sunday.

After Japan, the cup will visit Australia, Fiji, Madagascar, Kenya, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, China, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Germany, Romania and France.

The eighth Rugby World Cup will be staged in England and the Welsh capital of Cardiff in September and October 2015. Japan will become the first Asian country to host the event in 2019.