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Rugby World Cup organizers struggling to select training bases

Kyodo

The organizers of the next Rugby World Cup, Japan Rugby 2019, will not announce their candidates to host official training bases for the tournament as scheduled, organizing committee CEO Akira Shimazu indicated Tuesday.

Under the original schedule, organizers were supposed to announce the qualified candidates from 76 applicants this past summer, with the teams then choosing their training bases this autumn following inspections of the various candidates.

But the inability to find enough suitable candidates has led the organizers to scrap that plan. No public announcement will now be made until next spring, when the teams have already selected their training bases, Shimazu said at a board meeting in Tokyo.

Too many of the applicants to host training bases lacked sufficient accommodations and practice facilities or were too far from tournament venues, so additional training base candidates are now being sought. Tournament organizers are now seeking additional sites with the support of the Japan Rugby Football Union, Top League teams and host cities of the World Cup.

At the meeting, the organizing committee also announced that each of the 12 venues will hold two or more matches, a source close to the matter said.