#RWC2015 Diary: Japan becoming a rugby county too

Here’s a few pub talking points from #RWC2015 that you might have missed ...

#RWC2015 Diary: Japan becoming a rugby county too


Some 1.38m people tuned in to see Ireland beat Italy on Sunday, an average of 956,600 viewers, which is the highest ratings ever achieved by TV3.

The Ireland v Italy game peaked at 1.18m viewers in the final minutes, representing over 70% of the available viewing population at the time.

Across pre-match, match, post-match and highlights of Ireland v Italy on TV3, 1.59m viewers tuned in.

Meanwhile, the viewer numbers in Japan continue to grow, with a world-record 25m people tuning in to see the Brave Blossoms overcome Samoa. The continued interest bodes well for support for the tournament when it is staged in Japan in 2019.


Georgia’s Mamumka Gorgodze is top of the tackle chart at the Rugby World Cup after his man-of the-match display against New Zealand. The official tournament statistics hub lists Gorgodze as having completed 40 tackles in the tournament to-date.

He is joined in the top five by teammate Viktor Kolelishvili on 36 completed tackles, while two Scots also make it into the top five, the Gray brothers, Richie and Jonny, on 37 and 36, respectively. Two other players have made 36 tackles to date, Japan’s heroic captain Michael Leitch, and Italy’s Francesco Minto.


Samson Lee has revealed talk of ghostly goings-on at Wales’ World Cup hotel in Surrey. The 19th Century Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge is known for tales regarding sightings of the so-called “grey lady” in a crinoline dress, while room 1313 on the hotel’s third floor has a history of guests reporting extreme temperature changes and the feeling of a “presence”.

The hotel, which dates back to 1856, stands on the site of the Tudor royal palaces of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

“A few boys think they’ve seen a ghost, but I’m not sure they actually have,” Wales prop Lee said.

“I think it’s best to stay away from room 1313.”


To add to the misery of World Cup elimination, England have sunk to their lowest ranking in six years.

Now ranked eighth in the world, they fell two places after the loss to Australia and it could get worse.

If Scotland register two more victories at RWC 2015, they could push England even lower.

Never, since the rankings began in 2003, have England been outside the top eight. Only four other teams – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and France – have maintained a top-eight place since the rankings began. Ireland slipped to fifth in the rankings despite the win over Italy on Sunday.

However the biggest loser has been Samoa, whose defeat to Japan has dropped them to their lowest ever ranking of 15th in the world, down from 11th.


It seems Martin Castrogiovanni’s absence from the Italy line-up on Sunday was not entirely selection-based. The veteran prop was suffering from pain in his sciatic nerve, which was found to be caused by a benign tumour. Castrogiovanni is returning to Italy to see a specialist for treatment.

Both prop Michele Rizzo and centre Gonzalo Garcia are returning to their clubs for treatment of the injuries that forced them out of the Rugby World Cup.

There was better news for vice-captain Leonardo Ghiraldini, who missed the 16-9 defeat by Ireland at the Olympic stadium on Sunday with a thigh injury.

He has continued his work with the squad’s medical staff and the hope is he will be back for the Romania match, which Italy must win to secure third place and a spot at the 2019 World Cup.

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