THE VICTORIOUS Japanese rugby team will be officially welcomed in Warwick today (September 25).
The squad, who will be using the faciilities at Warwick School as a team base during the six week tournament, managed to pull off a completely unexpected 34-32 win against two-time champions South Africa at the Brighton Community Stadium in their first game of the competition.
Their victory against the Springboks in the Pool B match was branded one of the biggest shocks in Rugby World Cup history and came about thanks to a last-minute try from Karne Hesketh.
And to mark their extended stay in Warwick, the team will be welcomed by Warwick district and town councils at a special event set to take place at Warwick Castle from 6pm.
The district council Chairman, High Sherriff, Lord Lieutenant and Mayors from Warwick, Leamington and Kenilworth will also be in attendance.
Rugby World Cup fever took over Leamington on September 18 with clubs across the town hosting events to celebrate.
Club members and guests joined together at the Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club to watch England’s victory over Fiji at Hull’s KC Stadium on the tournament’s opening night.
A screen taller than the club’s rugby posts – one of the biggest in the country – showed the home team’s triumph to some 700 fans.
The club on Bericote Road will be screening all the World Cup games with England’s next match against Wales at Twickenham set to kick off at 8pm tomorrow (September 26).
But council chiefs are urging people to think before they drive the morning after a night of drinking.
Many people will be getting together with friends at home or in the pub during the tournament and council chiefs say people could risk paying the penalty if they are over the limit.
Alcohol passes through the body at around one hour per unit but any amount of alcohol can affect driving ability. And they are warning drivers to be responsible and make sure they are not over the limit before getting behind the wheel.
County council safety spokesman, John Horner, said: “We are concerned about rugby fans who will be up all night watching matches, drinking late and then hitting the roads early the next day.
“They could still be over the legal limit as well as sleep deprived, which will increase the risk of causing harm to themselves and other road users.
“We want people to enjoy the matches responsibly by helping them to avoid falling foul of drink driving as it could cost them a penalty or so much more.”
Visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/roadsafety for more information.