The New Zealand team won the championship of the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup 2019 — avenging a loss to the Australians in the 2015 event — in the extended golden try period after the teams battled to a 10-10 draw.
The rugby tournament saw parliamentarians and parliamentary staff members from nine of the Rugby World Cup participating countries and regions — the two antipodean countries, Argentina, England, France, Georgia, Ireland, Japan and South Africa — battling it out in Yamanashi Prefecture and Tokyo from Sept. 15 to 19.
The Parliamentary Rugby World Cup is held in the host country in the same year as the Rugby World Cup. Previous tournaments were in England in 2015, New Zealand in 2011, France in 2007, Australia in 2003, England and Wales in 1999, and South Africa in 1995.
For this year’s competition, Japan and Georgia formed a joint team, meaning that eight teams were vying for the title. The captain of the Japanese team was Lower House member Gen Nakatani, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary rugby club.
Each team had three matches, with New Zealand beating Ireland and France before defeating Australia in the final. France beat out South Africa for third, while Ireland, Georgia-Japan, Argentina and England rounded out the field.
The tournament was organized by the parliamentary members to help make the Rugby World Cup 2019 a success. The town of Fujikawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture, the Yamanashi Rugby Football Union and Japan Rugby Football Union supported the event.
The players participated in a ceremony to determine the draw on the evening of Sept. 13 at a hotel in Yamanashi Prefecture, with the next day reserved for practice. They played games in Yamanashi on Sept. 15 and 17 and Tokyo on Sept. 19. They visited the Diet and did some other sightseeing on Sept. 18.