BEFORE Japan send a rugby team to Gloucester again, the city is sending a former Cherry and White to the far east nation.
Gloucester City Council’s Rugby World Cup 2015 events co-ordinator, Adam Balding, is to visit Japan as part of a promotional team from the UK.
He will join a team from Visit England supporting the first leg of the Rugby World Cup trophy tour which will see the famous Webb Ellis Cup visit 15 countries over the next 12 months as part of a celebration of rugby in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2015, hosted in England and Cardiff.
The five day tour starts in Japan on Thursday, May 22 and Adam will be helping to promote interest in the competition and in Gloucester as a host destination.
Japan play Hong Kong on Sunday, May 25 in the top-of-the-table Asian 5 Nations clash, which is also the decisive qualifier for who will secure the Asia 1 spot next year. If they qualify, one of Japan’s games will take place at Kingsholm on September 23 against Scotland.
“Gloucester and its surrounding areas are very popular with Japanese visitors due to its picture-postcard landscape,” said Adam. “This will be an opportunity for me to ‘sell’ everything that is good and great about our area.
“It would be the icing on the cake to have Japan qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015 while we are out there. We will be going to see the game and I will certainly be cheering them on.”
Adam will have a hectic eight-day trip involving a series of business and promotional meetings.