The Rugby World Cup is almost upon us and this year it is hosted in various locations in Japan.
Though Typhoon Faxai has delayed some preparations after it roared through Tokyo and affected Haneda and Narita airports, the clock is now ticking down until the first match on September 20th. Rugby is not as big a team sport in Japan as baseball or soccer, but it is played at many universities and, just as hosting Fifa World Cup in 2002 helped to boost the presence of soccer, organizers hope that the Rugby World Cup will have similar impact on the sport’s status in Japan.
Any great sporting tournament has great merchandise, and the Rugby World Cup 2019 is no exception.
Here is our list of the seven best RWC 2019 items.
The Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan Official Mascot Plush Toy is, as the name suggests, a pair of cute and cuddly toys based on the mascot characters Ren and G. The two mascots are inspired by the shishi lions that appear in classic Kabuki theater and traditional festivals: in Kabuki, they appear in pairs with the white-maned lion as the father and the red-maned creature as the cub. In creating the mascots, their designers retained the basic features of the shishi lions. Ren is the white father and G is the red cub.
Continuing this theme, the Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan Official Mascot Ball is made by Gilbert Rugby, the respected manufacturer of rugby union balls, and features the two characters in two colors (one on each side of the ball). After all, rugby is a game of two halves.
The Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan Official 925 Silver Pin Brooch ditches the mascots and goes with the official RWC 2019 logo, which features Mount Fuji very prominently. It is made with genuine 925 sterling silver and is available with either an akoya pearl or diamond in the center.
The Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan Official Sakura T-Shirt is a more standard sportswear choice, though the makers have nonetheless opted for a unique cherry blossom design that just shouts “Japan” (although the tournament is actually taking place in the autumn, not the spring). The shirt is made by Canterbury, a highly respected New Zealander clothing company known for making quality rugby and sporting clothing.
Canterbury is also behind the Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Hoodie, which you may not need in Japan (since it is still pretty warm even in the early autumn) but will certainly help you support your nation’s team if you’re based in a colder climate.
Where would sportswear be without that staple, the baseball cap? And it doesn’t have to have anything to do with baseball, in fact. The Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Baseball Cap is one of the most versatile RWC clothing items out there, since it’s good for different seasons and a range of activities. A nice touch is the way the design integrates the kanji characters for “Japan.”
Another flexible item is this Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Scarf-Towel, which can help you keep warm if it’s chilly but also functions like a towel to wipe off sweat if things heat up as you watch the game. There is a range of different designs featuring various Japanese motifs.
There are many more examples of superb Rugby World Cup 2019 merchandise, available globally via Japan Trend Shop.