In Brief

Rugby World Cup opening ceremony: videos and best pictures

Japan welcomes the world with a spectacular show at the Tokyo Stadium

The 2019 Rugby World Cup has begun with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Tokyo Stadium in Japan. 

Taiko drummers, Kabuki performers, “Mount Fuji”, dancers and a light show treated the fans to a colourful display inside the stadium before Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino officially declared the tournament open.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Over the next six weeks we will experience the very best of rugby and the very best of Japan as excitement sweeps this great nation.

“I know Japan will be the most welcoming of hosts, you are the best. The waiting is over and the stage is set. It’s now over to the teams and the fans to make this the best World Cup ever.”

Twenty international rugby union nations are playing in the tournament. The action kicked off with the hosts Japan beating Russia 30-10 in the first match of pool A.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup final will be held on 2 November in Yokohama.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Get your first six issues free–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Best videos from the opening ceremony

2019 Rugby World Cup

  • When: 20 September to 2 November  
  • Where: 12 locations across Japan 
  • Teams: 20
  • Number of matches: 48
  • UK TV channel: live on ITV

 

RWC guides and features

Recommended

French forced to eat ‘mustard of the Germans’
There is a shortage of Dijon mustard in France
Tall Tales

French forced to eat ‘mustard of the Germans’

‘Wake up zombies!’
Today’s newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Wake up zombies!’

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?
The 2022 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham
Behind the scenes

Commonwealth Games: an ‘uncertain’ future?

Presidential hopeful says hyena testicles will erase debt
A hyena
Tall Tales

Presidential hopeful says hyena testicles will erase debt

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Why cats prefer people who hate them
A cat
Tall Tales

Why cats prefer people who hate them

The Week Footer Banner