RWC2019: Great atmosphere in Japan as ABs prep for South Africa – Irena Smith

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Excitement is building in Japan
ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup. The All Blacks are preparing
to take on their old foes from South Africa. There at ground zero,
in Tokyo, Japan is our intrepid reporter
Irena Smith. Irena, tell us, you’re there
in Tokyo. What’s the atmosphere like? No need to be jealous! I’m here to cover the
Rugby World Cup here in Tokyo. Japan has well
and truly began preparations for hosting this competition. Tokyo is a global megacity,
full of people, vehicles and activity with everything
happening at once. There is a special atmosphere here and you can feel
that atmosphere building for the upcoming tournament. Let’s just say that since
the AllBlacks have arrived, their popularity here in Japan
has become quite apparent even though rugby is not
the major sport here. Tokyo as a city is still preparing
and getting everything ready for the opening of
the Rugby World Cup this Friday. You’re quite right about all of us back home here
being jealous because you get to be there for
the Rugby World Cup in Japan. The All Blacks have spent a week
getting ready for their match against the Springboks and the Springboks appear to be
a big threat. How are the All Blacks
doing so far in your view? Let’s just when they first got here, the All Blacks have felt
very welcome. They are very popular here
and they’re also well-known. Outside the hotel
where they’re staying at there are people waiting
to get autographs from them. Last night a formal welcome ceremony
was held for them to welcome them to Japan and Tokyo. where Japanese custom and
hospitality were put on display. Hospitality is very important
to them. Their customs and attitudes
are similar to ours, such as being great hosts
to any visitors no matter who they are
or where they are from. But there is no doubt that the All Blacks are being well
looked after because they are seen as stars and they are the current
world champions. But as we know, it’s going to take
a lot to hold on to that title. Too right. How are you and the players coping
with the climate? Reports have come in advising
it is quite hot over there. Is that correct? Yes, the weather is quite a bit
of a challenge in Tokyo at this time of the year. While we’re at the tail end
of summer you can still feel the heat. It was raining today
but it was still quite warm. This weather will be a factor
impacting on all of the teams. For the All Blacks, however,
it’s not much of an issue for them. They are still the current champions
whether it’s sunshine or rain. They are really focused
on what’s coming up ahead for them. All of the formal welcoming
ceremonies and celebrations have concluded. They’re now looking at making
the final touches as well as upcoming training plans. That’s the main focus
of the coaching staff currently. That was the All Blacks
assistant coach addressing the media. Moments ago, literally
within the hour, the South African Springboks
fronted the media. What do you think they’ll bring
to the All Blacks on Saturday night? Every time the two teams clash, you get to experience
a very intense competitive atmosphere. It’s an atmosphere that the
Springboks and All Blacks have created for a very long time. If we go back to the last time the
two teams met, the score in Wellington
was a draw. The Springboks know
that this team can be defeated, and that’s something they’ll have
in mind as they head
into the match, namely, they’ve already defeated
the team before. They’ll be thinking about that as well as keeping a close eye
on the current condition of the All Blacks. Here’s what one of the Springboks
coaches had to say this afternoon. So Scotty, the stage has been set
for this major international sporting event. Yes, our team has a big clash
coming up. We all know that this will be
the start of the tournament, and it will be our first game. So they need to win
and it needs to be convincing. We’ll find out soon enough
what will happen. The match is this Saturday. Tomorrow, the team will go out
for their first training session in Tokyo. I’ll be there, for Te Karere, following them and the teams
in the tournament. Fantastic. That’s Irena Smith
in Tokyo, Japan for the Rugby World Cup. Thank you for the update,
Irena Smith. We’ll speak again tomorrow.

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