Rugby: 2019 World Cup thrown into disarray after Tokyo scraps National Stadium plans

A construction site for a new stadium to replace the National Olympic Stadium, center, is seen in this aerial photograph taken in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
A construction site for a new stadium to replace the National Olympic Stadium, center, is seen in this aerial photograph taken in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - World Rugby officials are seeking urgent talks with the Japanese organisers of the 2019 rugby World Cup following Friday's surprise announcement that Tokyo's proposed new national stadium will not be ready in time for the tournament.

The proposed stadium was scheduled to host the final of the first rugby World Cup held in Asia but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Friday that the plans had been scrapped because of escalating costs.

"World Rugby is extremely disappointed by today's announcement that the new National Stadium will not be ready to host Rugby World Cup 2019 matches despite repeated assurances to contrary from the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee and Japan Sports Council," World Rugby said in a statement.

"The National Stadium was a compelling and important pillar of Japan's successful bid to host Rugby World Cup 2019, which was awarded to the Japan Rugby Football Union in 2009.

"World Rugby is urgently seeking further detailed clarification from the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee and will need to consider the options relating to the impact of today's announcement."