South Africa could be hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup

South Africa’s stock as a sports destination country is showing no signs of falling. After recently winning the bid to host the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games, the country could be set to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup depending on the preparedness, or lack of it, by current scheduled hosts, Japan.

World Rugby CEO, Brett Gosper, has confirmed that should Japan fail to provide needed assurances that it will host the event, then there might be a possibility that the event will hold in South Africa.

“There haven’t been any discussions with SA Rugby in itself,” Gosper said. “Obviously, in the unlikely event that there was an issue in Japan, it would make sense that the first people you would consult would be the other two contenders at the time, which were Italy and South Africa.”

The primary reason why fears may exist over Japan’s hosting duties are based on the cancellation of plans to construct a new stadium in Tokyo which would have also served as the main venue for the 2020 Olympics Games also be hosted by Tokyo. The stadium plans were cancelled due to spiraling budget costs which rose as high as $2 billion and drew large-scale criticism.

Despite opening the door to the possibility of a withdrawal of the hosting rights from Japan, Gosper was quick to add that the scheduled 2019 hosts were still expected to deliver the event. “I’m extremely confident that the Japanese will come up with a contingency that will satisfy our requirements but Rugby World Cups are so important for World Rugby that we have to be absolutely sure of the certainty of our revenue streams flowing from that problem that we’ve had with the national stadium leaving. We’re confident that they’ll sort that, they have until the end of September.”

Should they fail to meet these requirements, South Africa could be set to host the event which will evoke powerful emotions of the 1995 World Cup, also hosted by South Africa and regarded as an epochal moment in nation’s history as Nelson Mandela used it as a unifying moment for the country fresh out of apartheid rule.

While the Rugby World Cup organizers deal with the issues surrounding the 2019 event, luxury Swiss watch brand, Tissot, has signed on as the designated official timekeeper of the 2015 Rugby World Cup which kicks off on September 18 in England. Africa will be represented at the 2015 event by South Africa and Namibia.

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