Fans and players at RWC in Japan warned to cover tattoos

By Jessica Tyson

Players and supporters at the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan have been advised to cover up any tattoo markings in public to avoid causing offence.

According to The Daily Telegraph players have been asked to wear rash vests when using public gyms or swimming pools as tattoos are associated with the Japanese mafia.

The head of Rugby World Cup, Alan Gilpin says teams won’t be forced to cover up but will want to, to show respect towards the culture.

"We will make [Japanese] people aware around the facilities that players will use in the country that people with tattoos in a Rugby World Cup context are not part of the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia,” Giplin told The Daily Telegraph.

An education programme highlighting the need to wear different footwear indoors from outdoors is also underway.

“Players will also have to wear different trainers indoors and outdoors. It will all be self-policing.”

The Rugby World Cup begins in September 2019.