I’ve been waiting a number of months to finally find out where my trip to Japan will take me …and the news has finally arrived. Today the organisers revealed the team venues and schedule, meaning I can finally start planning my homestay locations, which world cup matches to watch and start making contact with kidney patient groups in those areas.
So now I have big decisions to make, as my ferry arrives only a short trip for from Kobe, which will host England’s 2nd match, but Sapporo is around a 14 – 16 hour train journey away for the 1st match. I possibly will forsake watching the opening England match, and based myself around Kobe and Tokyo, ensuring I see the remaining England opening matches…plus Japan vs Ireland.
The devil/angel on my shoulder then whispers in my ear “Surely, you don’t want to miss the opening match”…and I kind of agree. Its a dilemma!
If you are in Japan or know the area well, please leave a comment on suggestions for places to stay and visit around Kobe, Tokyo and Yokohama. For the Ireland match, I’d need information on Shizuoka…and any advice if I should attend Sapporo would be great.
The rest of the draw and venues…
When you look at the draw, its an interesting opening round. New Zealand will begin their quest for a third successive World Cup title against South Africa in Yokohama. South Africa will be up for the fight, however at this stage you can only see one winner emerging. #AllBlacks.
Ireland and Scotland will meet in their opening game in Pool A while Wales begin against Georgia in Pool D. Hosts Japan kick off the tournament against Europe’s top qualifier. Wales will be playing in Aichi, Tokyo, Oita and Kumamoto.
Ireland, my wife’s team, have games in in Yokohama, Shizuoka, Kobe and Fukoka while Scotland visit Yokohama twice, Kobe and Shizuoka.
If you want to look at the full fixture list, simply click here.
Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner (Europe 2 v Oceania 3)
Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repechage winner
Pool C: England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga
Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Americas 2
Don’t forget if you wish to support my trip to Japan or find out how my trip is not just about rugby, but about empowering kidney patients both in the UK and Japan, simply click here for more information.