The Yomiuri ShimbunAn official whistle for the Rugby World Cup, which the chief referee will use during the opening match on Sept. 20, arrived Thursday at the Osaka Port International Ferry Terminal from Shanghai.
Ron Rutland, 45, and James Owens, 28, departed with the whistle by bicycle from London’s Twickenham Stadium, where the final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup was held. Rutland is from South Africa and Owens from Hong Kong — both have played rugby.
They departed from the stadium in February and traversed about 20,000 kilometers over the Eurasian continent in the course of seven months.
Rutland got off a ferry in Osaka and took the golden-colored whistle out of a bag attached to his bicycle, saying he was very happy to have delivered the whistle safely to Japan.
On the whistle is text stating its official status and noting that Japan plays Russia in the opening match. Rutland and Owens said they watched over the bag carefully so it woouldn’t be stolen during their trip.