SA Rugby and Kagoshima City confirmed on Wednesday that the City will host the Springbok Sevens squad for a pre-tournament camp before the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July. The pre-tournament camp takes place from 14-23 July and shortly after the Rugby Sevens tournament is scheduled to take place in Tokyo Stadium from 26-28 July.The squad will then travel to the Olympic Village in Tokyo to join Team South Africa. Similarly to the Springboks the sevens team will be staying at the Sun Royal Hotel in Kagoshima.
SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, thanked the Kagoshima City and Prefecture for making the pre-tournament camp a reality. “The holding camp was a very important part of the Springboks’ preparations prior to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and we all saw the benefits from that, so this will give our Springbok Sevens team an ideal platform to launch their medal charge,” said Roux. “We want to sincerely thank the Honourable Mayor of Kagoshima City, Mr. Takao Shimozuru, for making all of this possible. The City had a genuine desire to host the Springboks in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup and again extended that to our sevens team. We are humbled and grateful for that,” said Roux.
Rassie Erasmus, Director of Rugby, reflected on a number of positive factors that tilted the scale in favour of Kagoshima City as a venue of choice for the Springboks, and now the Blitzboks. “The quality of training and accommodation facilities, the easy and accessible location of all training amenities and the great weather makes it a top-class training venue,” said Erasmus.
“All their facilities are world-class and will ensure an excellent environment for Neil Powell and his squad to complete their pre-tournament preparations.”
“The Springboks spoke highly of the city, the training venues and the people and we are keen to experience that,” said Powell. “We also hope to feed off the energy from the locals and from a rugby perspective, it will give us an extra week to get used to the conditions in Japan and build-up that momentum that will be needed to be successful.”
The Honourable Mayor of Kagoshima City, Mr. Takao Shimozuru, said they are delighted to confirm the visit of the Springbok Sevens to Kagoshima City: “I am very pleased and honored that South Africa Rugby, who deeply impressed us all on their journey to winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup, will once again be holding their camp in our city.
“We will welcome and support you fully, in cooperation with Kagoshima Prefecture, the Rugby Association, and other related organizations, in hopes of creating a legacy out of the connection that rugby has created between our City and South Africa. “By adhering to strict COVID-19 countermeasures as determined by the Organizing Committee to create a safe and secure training camp environment, I look forward to this opportunity to share the many charms of our City to the world,” added Mr Shimozuru.
Kagoshima is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Located at the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu, Kagoshima is the largest city in the prefecture by some margin. It has been nicknamed the “Naples of the Eastern world” for its bay location (Aira Caldera), hot climate, and emblematic stratovolcano, Sakurajima. The city was officially founded on April 1, 1889.
Source: Fatima Said and SA Rugby Communications