“This is great for visually impaired sport and it is was really moving to share the field with players who had a terrifying time trying to even get to our games [because of Typhoon Hagibis].”
The series was originally going to be held at two different venues across two days. However, the typhoon meant the matches had to be rescheduled to Monday, with all three played at Kumagaya Sports Park alongside Kumagaya Stadium. England won the opening match 26-0, before sealing the series win with 24-17 and 19-0 victories.
Packaworld Chief Executive Peter Roberts said it was outstanding for the sport to be showcased during rugby’s pinnacle event.
“The Japan team has been training hard and I know they were looking forward to providing a real challenge for the more-experienced English side. The series was a wonderful initiative, and one that I hope helped to bring a little joy to the people of Japan following Typhoon Hagibis and the tragic events of the weekend.”
Visually impaired rugby is played on a shortened 70m x 50m field between teams of seven players, plus subs. The rules are similar to touch rugby, but with the addition of scrums, lineouts and conversion kicks. The sport uses specially designed posts, created by Packaworld, along with an adaptive ball that makes a noise to help players locate it when it’s moving.
Packaworld has been a supporter of Blind Rugby since 2017, when its Blind Rugby Packaposts were used for the world’s first international visually impaired rugby test series between the New Zealand Blind Rugby Team and the Blind Lions. That series, won by the Blind Lions, coincided with the Lions tour of New Zealand.
>> Find out more about Rugby Packaposts
VIDEO: Some of the action from day two of the tour (match day)