Kamaishi Unosumai Recovery Memorial Stadium, the only new stadium being developed for Japan’s staging of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, will open on August 19.
Kamaishi, a city in Iwate Prefecture, was badly hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, with the new stadium having being developed as a consequence.
Japanese news agency Kyodo said local club Kamaishi Seawaves, currently competing in the second tier of Japanese professional rugby, will play a match on the opening day of the stadium. The ground will also host a Top League game between Coca-Cola Red Sparks and Canon Eagles on October 7.
Kamaishi Unosumai Recovery Memorial Stadium is scheduled to stage two games during the World Cup – Fiji versus Uruguay on September 25, 2019 and another match whose teams are yet to be determined on October 13.
The World Cup, the tournament’s first edition in Asia, will run from September 20 to November 2 next year. In March 2015, organisers selected 12 host cities for the national team tournament, with Yokohama securing its place as the second largest venue despite missing the initial bid deadline.
The applicant venues seeking to be part of the 2019 World Cup increased to 15 in December 2014, with Yokohama’s 72,000-seat International Stadium added to the list. Tokyo’s New National Stadium was set to act as the centrepiece of the World Cup, but was replaced by Yokohama in September 2015.
Tokyo Stadium will act as a replacement for the National Stadium and will host the World Cup’s opening ceremony, as well as the first game of the tournament. Along with Tokyo, Yokohama and Kamaishi, Japan’s Rugby World Cup will also be staged at the Sapporo Dome, Sapporo City; Kumagaya Rugby Ground, Saitama Prefecture/Kumagaya City; Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, Shizuoka Prefecture and Toyota Stadium, Aichi Prefecture/Toyota City.
Hosting rights have also been assigned to Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka Prefecture/Higashi Osaka City; Kobe City Misaki Park Stadium, Kobe City; Hakatanomori Football Stadium, Fukuoka City; Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium, Kumamoto Prefecture/Kumamoto City and Oita Stadium, Oita Prefecture.