Rugby World Cup 2019: Excitement builds in Japan before tournament opener

After months of Rugby World Cup build-up, it's finally time for words to stop and actions to do the talking.

The seven-week tournament kicks off on Friday night, when Japan face Russia in front of a near sold-out Tokyo Stadium.  

Meanwhile, the All Blacks face South Africa in their tournament opener the following day. 

Overall, 48 matches will be played across 12 cities over 43 days. 

Newshub rugby editor Ross Karl told The AM Show that the excitement has built up over the last week, with World Cup merchandise flying off the shelves. 

"We've been here for a week now and there is a build up," said Karl. "More than 5000 people are going to the main World Cup store every day in Tokyo, buying clothes, and you see how excited the people are. 

"We're going to see some hysteria from people who are not even into it."  

So far, 95 percent of the 1.8 million tickets have already been sold.

Watch the video above for the full interview

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.

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This story was produced in partnership with Suzuki

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