Celebrating 500 Days to go until Rugby World Cup 2019

With anticipation and excitement building across Japan and the world, we’re continuing to gear up for a ground-breaking event and marking this major milestone with an exciting announcement.

History will be made in just under 500 days when Japan hosts Rugby World Cup 2019 – the first-ever in Asia. The hosts have been making the most of this exciting milestone, announcing a #500DTG challenge to #FindRugby and win tickets and other great prizes. Japan has already captured the imagination of fans around the world and 400,000+ international visitors are anticipated during the 48-day tournament. 

We’re thrilled to mark the occasion with an exciting announcement: Rugby World Cup 1987 Champion, Sir John Kirwan, will be our DHL Ambassador for Rugby World Cup 2019. The former New Zealand winger won 63 caps with the All Blacks, scoring 35 tries for his country. In the run up to and throughout the tournament, Sir John will be our go-to rugby expert, providing insights into players and matches as well as his own career as an international player and coach.

“I am incredibly excited!”

Sir John Kirwan

“I am incredibly excited to be joining the DHL team, said Sir John Kirwan. “I share DHL’s passion for fostering the expansion of rugby on the broader international scale and with DHL’s global reach I can’t think of a better company to be associated with. Having a lifelong involvement with rugby in Japan and Italy, as well as New Zealand, I am thrilled to have the privilege of going back to Japan to be a part of this amazing experience that will be RWC 2019.”

After an illustrious playing career, Sir John went on to coach the Auckland Blues, the national sides of Italy and Japan, and the Barbarian Football Club in Britain. He is also a leading campaigner for mental health, where he is passionate about working with people to raise awareness about depression and fight the stigma associated with it.

“I am delighted that Sir John Kirwan has joined us as a DHL ambassador for Rugby World Cup 2019,” said Fiona Taag, Head of DHL Express Global Sponsorship & Europe Marketing Communications. “Sir John will be a great addition to team given he is a RWC 1987 champion as well as his experience in both playing and coaching in Japan. He’ll be playing a broad role with DHL, delighting our customers and staff, consulting on rugby in Japan as well as helping create and deliver enticing stories to fans around the world.” 

“Sir John will be a great addition to team."

Fiona Taag, DHL

Off-pitch prep
As the excitement builds for one of the world’s biggest and best-love sporting events, we’re gearing up to ensure that it goes off without a hitch. Our specialists in Japan have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for this complex and high-stakes logistics operation. Both the organizers and the teams are counting on us.

Well before the international teams board their planes for Japan, we’ll be preparing their freight for safe, door-to-door passage to their training facilities in Japan. From there we’ll make sure their gear is always where they need it – at one of 12 match venues across the country or back at their tournament base camp in between. We’re also providing each team with branded delivery vans to support their smaller scale logistics needs.

Once tickets go on sale, we’ll be tapping into our international network to ensure fans around the world receive their tickets quickly and reliably.

A ground-breaking event
Rugby World Cup 2019 marks the first time the event will be hosted in Asia. It’s a major milestone for world rugby as the game is growing rapidly across the continent at the grassroots level and on the international circuit. After Japan beat South Africa in 2015 in what some call the greatest Rugby World Cup shock ever, the country is raring to see its side compete on rugby’s biggest stage again.

With 500 days and counting, so are we. And we’ll be ready.

Follow DHL Rugby on Twitter & Facebook to stay up to date with all the news as we countdown to an amazing tournament in Japan.

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