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Japan embraces RWC as opening weekend about to kick off

Rugby World Cup fever is catching on in Japan for young and old alike.

Japan and Russia kick off in the opening game tonight, the rivalry between the countries already clear as former players share beer and sake.

All across Tokyo, Kiwi fans are also gearing up for a big weekend.

Kiwi, Andrew Chambers says he hopes to watch the game from a bar.

"We are going out for a traditional Japanese meal, hopefully we'll find a bar to watch the opening ceremony and the opening game," he says.

Meanwhile, Japanese fans have been busy getting their hands on as many tickets as they can and All Blacks jerseys are flying off the shelves.

Thirteen thousand volunteers were required to ensure events across the country run smoothly, organisers received 38,000 applications.

Leading that army of volunteers is Kiwi, Deborah Jones.

The fluent Japanese speaker moved her family to Japan for several years to manage thousands of volunteers who will be deployed to airports, train stations and game venues.

And she's having a ball.

"Loving it, absolutely loving it. Its more than a job, it's bringing the family over for a bit of life experience," she says.

The game between Japan and Russia kicks off at 10.45pm tonight.


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Japan’s determined to make the opening weekend one to remember. Source: 1 NEWS