Japanese tourists flock to home of WC upset

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:17
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NEWS: Brighton's Amex Stadium where Japan caused the greatest upset in World Cup history with a 34-32 win over two-time world champions South Africa in 2015 has become a magnet for many Japanese tourists.

Paul Barber, Chief Executive of the promotion chasing second tier Championship football club Brighton, said 20-30 Japanese tourists a week visit the stadium adding it to the usual sight-seeing list of the Tower of London and National Gallery.

South coast resort Brighton is under an hour's train ride from London. 

Barber, who was speaking to a small group of journalists after addressing the Sport Industry Breakfast Club, added the tourists were particularly moved to see the club had even installed a plaque where Karne Hesketh scored the try to seal the astonishing win in front of 29 000 spectators.

"We have 20-30 Japanese tourists dropping by the ground wanting to visit the place where their team beat the Springboks," said Barber.

"They love to take photographs and we have some stadium guides who have learnt a smattering of Japanese to help with them.

"They are especially impressed that we have put in a plaque where the try was scored. We didn't do it for commercial purposes, but because it was such an historic sporting moment."

Arguably the victory proved a winner also for hosts England because although they went out embarrassingly in the first round it alerted them to the many talents of then Japan coach Eddie Jones - who has since been drafted in as England coach and has guided them to 15 successive victories since taking over the reins.

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Team P W D L Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 17
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England 4 2 0 2 11
Fiji 4 1 0 3 5
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Team P W D L Pts
South Africa 4 3 0 1 16
Scotland 4 3 0 1 14
Japan 4 3 0 1 12
Samoa 4 1 0 3 6
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