Read for the Off…

On Sunday we said goodbye to Kitakyushu after a very successful first training camp. The city was fantastic and looked after us incredibly well – a big thank you to everyone, especially the staff at the Rhiga Royal Hotel and at the Kitakyushu sports centre. Also to the many citizens who greeted our arrival and who came to watch and to support us – some shown here talking to Head Coach Paul Shaw.

Head Coach Paul Shaw with spectators from Kitakyushu

We finished our week with a farewell dinner at which Mayor Mr Kenji Kitahashi presented the match vests to the players.

After an easy hour’s flight to Tokyo which was in the middle of the post-typhoon clean up the team settled into the tournament hotel ahead of today’s first training session and press conference. The venue looks superb and there is a real buzz amongst all the teams. For the first time in memory everyone knows that there is very little to choose between the top 5 teams in the world so this looks like being a very interesting tournament and will allow everyone to monitor their progress on the Road to Tokyo 2020.

Team Captains with the President of the WWRC2019 Organising Committee at today’s press conference

Tomorrow sees the opening ceremony and our first game v France. You can watch all games via YouTube, and information on the schedule at the official WWRC2019 website.

More from my daily blog tomorrow.

David Pond