• Kyodo

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Representatives of 26 local governments attended an explanatory meeting in Fukuoka about hosting team training camps during the 2019 Rugby World Cup, tournament organizers said Thursday.

In addition to those attending Thursday’s meeting, 134 other local bodies sent delegations to two other recent meetings in Tokyo and Osaka. When the process for selecting official camp locales was announced in May, a total of 136 local bodies expressed an interest in hosting.

“The idea that 2019 is going to be a big tournament is penetrating every part of the country, and I’m glad,” said Ryo Date, the director of business operations for the tournament organizers.

Applications will be accepted from Aug. 1 through Dec. 22, with the candidates to be decided sometime next summer.

Host locations will have various demands placed on them, including securing grass practice fields for a four-week period, housing and training facilities.

Chojin Ameku, the director of sports exchange for Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, which hosts spring training camps for pro baseball teams, attended Thursday’s meeting.

“We have the know-how to do this, but I get the impression the standards to be met are a high hurdle,” he said.

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