Rugby 'Happy' With IOC Approving Tokyo Schedule

(ATR) Only minor issues remain for World Rugby to sort out before the 2020 Olympics.

(ATR) Only minor issues remain for World Rugby to sort out before the 2020 Olympics.

On July 18, the IOC Executive Board approved the competition schedule proposed by Tokyo 2020.

World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper, in San Francisco for the Rugby Sevens World Cup, told reporters perhaps the most exciting change from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics features the men’s final starting before the women’s.

That swap, World Rugby hopes, will ensure a full house for the women’s final. Or in the words of Gosper: "using the men to promote the women’s game".

Almost all schedule-related requests from World Rugby to Tokyo organizers were met, Gosper said.

"There’s still some things to be worked out with the organizers including things like times between sessions, numbers in the stadium that allow transportation to work," he added.

Ultimately World Rugby should feel confident in Tokyo Stadium, the Olympic rugby venue. The stadium will be used for football events but most importantly as one of the most important stadia for the Rugby World Cup taking place in Japan next year.

Team Japan received some welcome news from Gosper who said: "our intention is that Japan will qualify automatically [for the Olympics]." The IOC must still approve 2020 qualification procedures for rugby.

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