Rugby World Cup 2019: Japanese fans queue for hours ahead of history making match

Japanese fans are showing their dedication to supporting their rugby team just hours out from their biggest match in history. 

Brave Blossoms fans have been queuing to enter Tokyo's Sports Square fan zone since 5am Tokyo time (9am NZT).

Sitting shoulder to shoulder in the humid Tokyo heat, several hundred are squeezing down a side alleyway on chairs and rugs as they wait to be let in just over an hour before the host team takes on the Springboks.

Rugby fan Ryusei Takatsuka says he's never played the sport and has only started watching, but is excited about history being made tonight.

In what has become a fairytale story of the Rugby World Cup, it's the first time Japan has made an appearance in the knockout rounds of the tournament. 

It's expected 60 million - almost half the Japanese population - will tune in to watch the match on television. Smashing the domestic audience for a World Cup match that was broken last week when Japan beat Scotland. 

Rugby World Cup 2019: Japanese fans queue for hours ahead of history making match
Photo credit: Image: Henry McMullan

The hosts have been the darlings of the tournament since they beat Ireland in the pool stage. That win meant they were able to progress first through their pool and avoid a quarter-final matchup with the All Blacks. 

Join us for live updates of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between South Africa and Japan from 11:15pm.

Newshub. 

 

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