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Wales choose Kitakyushu as their Rugby World Cup base

The Red Dragons will make their final pre-tournament preparations in the southern Japanese city next September.

Andrew Baldock 2018/09/04

Wales will make their final pre-Rugby World Cup preparations in the southern Japan city of Kitakyushu next September.

Wales’ 31-man Rugby World Cup squad will arrive in Japan on September 12 – 11 days before their tournament opener against Georgia – the Welsh Rugby Union announced.

The camp will see Wales training at the City of Kitakyushu Stadium, and as part of a relationship with the city, the WRU will deliver a community programme that includes training sessions for local participants, in addition to working with coaches and local referees.

Coaches from the WRU’s community department last month staged the first of three separate camps ahead of the Rugby World Cup, with more than 600 children taking part.

As part of the city’s backing for Wales at the tournament, hundreds of city fire and emergency response vehicles have been emblazoned with messages of support, and hundreds of Kitakyushu citizens wore red at a local carnival following the first community camp.

“The people of Kitakyushu could not have been more welcoming and accommodating,” WRU head of Rugby participation and former Wales captain Ryan Jones said.

“They want to turn their city red during the World Cup, and are encouraging their citizens to get behind the team in 14 months’ time.”

After tackling Georgia, Wales face further pool games against Australia, Fiji and Uruguay, with their quarter-final scheduled in Oita if they progress.

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