A successful World Cup in Japan could do wonders for the sport but for that to happen this needs to be a tournament where pace and athleticism outflank brawn and angst
The ancient samurai warriors of Japan were more than just loyal soldiers. They believed in honour above life and were famous as much for their spirit as their distinctive swords. Put them in a pair of boots and a gumshield and they would have felt a sense of kinship with all 20 competing squads awaiting the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
That notion of sacrifice in pursuit of a higher ideal, in this case the holy grail of global domination, remains one of the touchstones of modern international rugby union. In few sports are pleasure and pain so inextricably linked, where supreme resolve, character and resilience are basic requirements. No one wins seven Tests in seven weeks by fluke nor lifts the Webb Ellis Cup by happy accident.
Written by Robert Kitson in Tokyo
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/sep/19/giants-of-game-prepare-for-epic-battle-rugby-world-cup under the title “All the world’s a stage as giants of the game prepare for an epic battle | Robert Kitson”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.