Sport

How Wales created a home-away-from-home in Japan ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Published 0955 GMT (1755 HKT) September 16, 2019
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The Kitakyushu project was started to build a base for the Welsh team when it travels to Japan ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as well as to increase the popularity of the sport in the country. Welsh Rugby Union
The project is overseen by Rhys Williams, business development manager at WRU. Welsh Rugby Union
"We're trying to build a holistic base where hopefully rugby can thrive within the area," Williams told CNN. Welsh Rugby Union
During their five-day spells in Japan before the tournament, Welsh rugby coaches train over 1,000 people, with people of all ages sharing the rugby pitch. Welsh Rugby Union
Envoys from the WRU have played their part in the Wasshoi festival -- Kitakyushu's largest summer festival -- where they performed a four-and-a-half minute dance with thousands of local citizens, whilst decked out completely in Welsh colors. Welsh Rugby Union
"Every time we go over there, we're just amazed by the warmth and the way we're always welcomed by the Japanese people and citizens," Williams said. Welsh Rugby Union