Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks embrace Japanese culture by taking sand bath

The All Blacks are doing their utmost to embrace local culture during their stay in Japan and have now turned to traditional methods to help recover from intense training sessions.

Eleven players, including captain Kieran Read, headed to the famous Beppu Beach Sand Baths for a recovery session, where they were covered in hot volcanic sand.

The players lay on the ground, while staff used shovels to cover them from head to toe, a local practice that dated back to 1260.

The All Blacks are currently staying in Beppu, a city and spa resort on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, which also happens to be the sister city of Rotorua.

When the All Blacks arrived, Read stressed the importance of immersing themselves in the culture.

The All Blacks started a trend at the tournament by bowing to the crowd after their 23-13 win over the Springboks.

"It's really important for us to connect as much as we can with the Japanese people," said Read. "We know that they love us as All Blacks, but we need to show a bit of love back to them.

"The support has been fantastic so far, we saw that tonight. There were plenty of fans with the black jerseys, which is fantastic.

"We want to enjoy this tournament, get out and see as many people as we can, and hopefully get some new fans."

Essential Guide to 2019 Rugby World Cup

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The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

Join us for live updates of Argentina v Tonga, Japan v Ireland and South Africa v Namibia from 4:45pm Saturday.

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