World Rugby has unveiled its logo for the 2019 Rugby World Cup ©World Rugby

World Rugby conducted stringent tests on the logo for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan to avoid a repeat of the plagiarism allegations which saw the emblem for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games scrapped, chief executive Brett Gosper has claimed.

The logo for the event in four years’ time has been unveiled in London, with the sport’s governing body also confirming the tournament will run from September 20 to November 2.

Gosper insists World Rugby were “rigorous” in their process to ensure the originality of the emblem, which depicts a rising sun atop Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan.

“We have done some rigid and rigorous tests to make sure that this is something completely original,” he said.

“It’s a variation on our own rugby logo, so we’ve already been through a thorough process in terms of the shaping, the typing, and so on.

“This has been given a Japanese flavour.

“We are confident it is original and specific to us.”

Tokyo 2020's emblem, designed by Kenjiro Sano, was abolished in September after accusations of plagiarism following complaints by Belgian designer Olivier Debie.

He said it resembled the Théâtre de Liège logo, which he came up with, too closely and legal proceedings were launched.

The Théâtre dropped a lawsuit against the International Olympic Committee but Debie is pressing ahead with his case after filing a claim in a Belgian court in August.

Tokyo 2020 have since launched a relaxed competition process for the new logo, which is open to everyone in Japan over the age of 18. 

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper says they conducted
World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper says they conducted "rigourous" tests to ensure the logo for the 2019 World Cup in Japan was original, unlike the one chosen for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo ©Getty Images

The build-up to the Rugby World Cup in the Japanese capital has, like the 2020 Olympics, faced problems though after plans for the new National Stadium, which was due to be one of the main venues for both events, were also scrapped due to increasing public criticism at spiraling costs.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe made the call to axe the plans as the bill rose to ¥252 billion (£1.4 billion/$2.1 billion/€1.9 billion), nearly doubling original estimates.

Gosper, who has revealed he has been in talks with “a couple of big Chinese companies” who are interested in partnering with the 2019 Rugby World Cup, revealed the tournament in Japan “will look very different, feel very different, and sound very different to any World Cup we have ever had”.

The World Rugby chief executive has also moved to address criticism of the draw for the 2015 tournament in England, which is due to to a conclusion with the final between Australia and New Zealand on Saturday (October 31), following claims it was made too far in advance.

Hosts England, Australia, Wales and Fiji, four of the top nine nations in the world at the start of the tournament, were all drawn together in the same pool and Gosper says they will look to change the process for the 2019 competition.

“Hopefully we will try to get it a little bit closer to the event itself,” he said.

“There are a number of issues we have to deal with, and organisational things we have to consider before we choose the date.

“We have an added complexity in that we have the Olympics following soon after the Rugby World Cup, so we have to get the phasing right in terms of ticketing.”

Related stories
October 2015: 
Tokyo 2020 Emblems Committee relax competition rules ahead of search for new logo
September 2015: Tokyo 2020 appoint committee which will pick replacement for axed emblem
September 2015: Belgian designer pressing ahead with plagiarism case against IOC despite theatre withdrawing charges
September 2015: Tokyo 2020 appoints committee as work begins on finding new emblems
September 2015: Group set-up to begin process to choose new Tokyo 2020 emblem