There’s nothing quite like being there and today is a crucial day in the hopes of Irish Rugby fans who are planning to travel to Japan this year for the Rugby World Cup.
As of today, those who were unsuccessful in the first public ballot have one more shot to get ahead of the crowd. The link through which tickets may be available to this group will go live at 20:19 Tokyo time today, 11:19 Irish time this morning.
It will remain open until one minute to midnight on Thursday, that will be 14:59 in the afternoon here in Ireland. Rugby World Cup has advised however that there will be a period of downtime on the site for maintenance between 16:00 and 20:30 Irish time on Wednesday.
The maddest scramble will then come at the weekend when what could be the last batch of general sale tickets are released at 01:00 Irish time on Friday night / Saturday morning, remaining open until just before 15:00 on Sunday.
World Rugby is advising that “ticket availability across the tournament remains limited following record sales throughout the 2018 ballots. While there is still reasonable availability for certain pool matches, tickets for the most popular matches remain extremely limited. These include all knockout stage matches and pool matches featuring the host nation Japan, defending champions New Zealand, as well as Ireland and England.
“With less than 250 days to go before Asia’s first Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan, it’s incredibly exciting to see the phenomenal response from rugby fans here in Japan and from across the world,” said Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee CEO Akira Shimazu.
“The huge demand for tickets points to Rugby World Cup 2019 being a truly special tournament.”
“For anybody considering buying tickets for matches that still have availability I suggest you move as quickly as possible when first-come-first-served sales begin. The huge demand from domestic rugby fans unable to secure tickets for Japan matches will spread quickly to the tournament’s remaining matches.”
“There are still some great tickets available and we want to ensure that we welcome as many foreign fans as possible for this once-in-a-lifetime tournament.”
So what are the alternatives if you are not successful in securing tickets over the coming days.
World Rugby has said that additional tickets may become available for games as stadium layouts and tickets which may be released from individual unions and hospitality organisers are finalised over the coming months but this is likely to be a small number.
Further details on the Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Resale site, where fans who can no longer travel will be able to register and put their tickets back on the market, will be provided in March 2019.
A final guaranteed option for fans looking to secure match tickets is through the Rugby World Cup 2019 Official Supporter Tour and Hospitality programmes. Ticket-inclusive travel packages provided through RWC 2019 official travel agents are currently on sale.
Club Travel in Ireland are offering inclusive packages taking in Ireland’s group stage matches against Scotland and Japan as well as flights, accommodation and transfers for €5,199 per person while a package taking in both semi-finals, and the final, for those who are the ultimate optimists, will set you back €7,000.
It goes without saying that you are advised to book only through official channels as it would be a long way to go to be turned away with a counterfeit ticket at the entrance to the stadium.
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