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World Rugby chairman: Japan 2019 the best Rugby World Cup

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont has lauded Japan 2019 as "probably the greatest Rugby World Cup".

The six-week event, the first to be staged in Asia in the tournament's 32-year history, culminated with South Africa hammering England 32-12 in Yokohama last Saturday as they clinched a third world title.

"Japan 2019 will be remembered as probably the greatest Rugby World Cup," said Beaumont during the tournament's closing press conference in Tokyo yesterday.

"It has certainly been the most ground-breaking in terms of bringing the game to new audiences and attracting new fans to the sport."

Backing up their claim that this is the best World Cup, World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said there were more than 1.7 billion social media views, a world record TV audience, 99 per cent stadium attendance and 1.2 million in the fanzones.

He added that this was "possibly the largest digital sports event of 2019, with 1.8 million new participants in Asia and 770,000 new participants in Japan".

France will stage the 2023 edition, with Beaumont confirming a dual bidding process will start late next year for the 2027 and 2031 World Cups. - AFP

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