Britain

Rugby World Cup final: England fans flock to Japan in hope of victory

Thousands of England fans have arrived in Japan, some still in search of tickets, ahead of England's bid to win the Rugby World Cup for a second time.

Eddie Jones's team play South Africa in the biggest rugby game for England since they last featured in the World Cup final in 2007. On that occasion they were beaten by the Springboks but are favourites to win here and avenge that defeat.

A record TV audience for a rugby match is expected to tune in when the game kicks off at 9am UK time.

In Japan some fans are still searching for tickets at the Shin-Yokohama train station, a short walk from the International stadium Yokohama, with touts quoting £1,500 a ticket.

Hotel companies have taken advantage of the demand for rooms in Yokohama and Tokyo, which is 22 miles away and an 18-minute journey away on the bullet train. Some are charging up to four times their normal rate.

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Gordon, from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, who is retired, booked a flight at the last minute, arriving in Yokohama on Friday night.

"We watched the semi-final and my son and I decided to come out," he said.

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"We flew via Cairo so I'm expecting the jet lag to hit. I think England can do it but it's a final so it certainly won't be a slam dunk."

Image: Thousands of England fans are in Japan to watch England's first World Cup final since 2007

Ian, from Horsham, West Sussex, has been out in Japan since 19 September. "We've just been bowled over by the country, every day you see something that blows you away. I'm confident England can do it but with that true English pessimism I'm wary of a stumbling block."

Three young England fans, schoolboys living in Dubai, weren't alive when England beat Australia in Sydney to lift the Webb Ellis trophy in 2003.

They have travelled to Japan with their parents and arrived on Friday morning. They think this England side, led by captain Owen Farrell, can win.

"We're so excited to be here," said Jack.

"We all play rugby and these players are definitely an inspiration to us. If they play like they did against New Zealand they can definitely win. I think they'll win by 10 points."

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Yokohama, the second largest city in the country with a population of 3.7 million, is the home of rugby in Japan. In the city's Chinatown is a monument to the first rugby club in Japan – and in Asia – which opened in Yokohama in 1864.

Many of the 2003 World Cup winners have also flown in for the game, and coach Eddie Jones eRead More – Source