Organisers of the Rugby World Cup 2015 could not
have dreamt of such an exciting start to the tournament.
Less than 24 hours after England beat Fiji 35-11 in
the opening game at Twickenham on Friday night, the Japan team
played the game of their lives and caused what must surely be one of the
greatest upsets in Rugby Union history, by beating two-time Rugby
World Cup champions South Africa 32-34 in the very last play of
World Rugby Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said, “This has been
a weekend where rugby has captivated and inspired a nation and a
new generation of fans and players and what better way to cap it
than with a Rugby World Cup record crowd. Great people make great
events and the stars of this tournament so far, alongside the
players, have been the wonderful fans, the 21st Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup 2015 also entered the record books on
Sunday when 89,019 fans attended Wembley Stadium for the New Zealand v
Argentina game, breaking the record for the biggest ever crowd at a
Rugby World Cup match.
The previous record of 82,957 at the
Rugby World Cup 2003 Final (when England beat Australia) was broken by Match 8 in one of
England's most iconic sporting venues where the winners of Rugby
World Cup 2011, New Zealand, took on Argentina in a thrilling
New Zealand, the current world champions, won the match 26 - 16.
England Rugby 2015 Managing Director, Stephen Brown,
said, “We are delighted to see such a fantastic crowd at Wembley
Stadium and secure a record Rugby World Cup match
attendance with over 89,000 fans enjoying New Zealand v Argentina.
The opening weekend has been a true celebration of Rugby with full
venues, exciting rugby and a real buzz in and around the host cities with over 100,00 people enjoying our official Fanzones and
we're looking forward to more of the same over the coming weeks.”
Rugby World Cup 2015 has already become the
Tournament to date selling over 2.35 million tickets, beating the
2.25 million tickets sold in France 2007.
Pictures from 2015 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
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