This week has marked two very special World Cup anniversaries for Japanese rugby. A year ago on Monday saw arguably the greatest upset in world rugby when the Brave Blossoms stunned South Africa on that famous day in Brighton.
And in Just under three years, Japan will host the tournament for the very first time, bringing the game yet more well-deserved publicity.
To mark the three year countdown, a special event took place in Tokyo with current squad members reflecting on the impact their incredible win last September has had on the game, as well as looking forward to 2019.
Fans in attendance were also encouraged to take to social media, using @RugbyWorldCup and #RWC2019. Rugby was the third most searched for term on Google in the country in 2015 with the emergence of Japan as a threat on the world stage, proving the country is ready to further embrace the sport.
Japan Rugby 2019 Chief Executive Akira Shimazu said: “Rugby World Cup 2019 will be a global tournament, but it will also be a tournament for all of Japan, hosted by 12 cities the length and breadth of the nation.
“We will welcome hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to Japan, but we are also welcoming all of Japan to be part of this great celebration of rugby and friendship.”
Work has already begun on preparations for the tournament, which is the first of its kind in Asia. With tournament dates and venues settled, the next milestone comes in May 2017 when the pool allocation draws take place.
Relive the greatest World Cup upset and look ahead to RWC 2019 in the videos below:
Japan v South Africa (RWC 2015, Brighton)
A look ahead to RWC 2019