Rugby council chiefs rubbed shoulders with some of Japan’s top officials including the prime minister during a visit to promote visiting the town.
Rugby Borough Council leader Michael Stokes met Shinzō Abe, inset, and gave a William Webb Ellis statue to Kyoto mayor Daisaku Kadokawa at the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw on May 10.
Cllr Stokes was joined by the council’s executive director, Adam Norburn, as guests of World Rugby.
“It has been a privilege to be able to represent and promote the borough of Rugby in Japan, particularly in Kyoto, which has so much in common with Rugby,” the council leader said.
“The numerous meetings have enabled us to make connections which would not have been possible without this visit, and many of Japan’s host cities have made it clear they are looking to Rugby as an example of how to create a successful Fanzone and visitor experience in a World Cup year.
“Of course, the highlight of the trip was meeting with Prime Minister Abe who thanked me for attending and hoped that Rugby can forge stronger links with his country to further promote all we have to offer with regards to the sport of rugby,” he said.