Match Ball Delivery: Rio Sasaki

Meet Rio Sasaki from Kamaishi, who will deliver the match ball onto the field when Namibia play Canada in her hometown.

DHL’s global Match Ball Delivery program has given 48 lucky children the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver the official match ball onto the field at a Rugby World Cup 2019™ match.

Rio started playing after attending practices with her father, who is a rugby coach. She fell in love with the sport and told her dad that she wanted to play. She enjoys the atmosphere, especially being loud and celebrating when teammates score tries.

Get to know Rio ahead of Rugby World Cup and watch out for her journey on DHL Rugby social media (TwitterInstagram and Facebook) during the tournament.

1. What’s your favorite position to play? 

I like playing scrum half or fly half because you get lots of opportunities to get your hands on the ball and connect the backs and the forwards. 

"My father was away on a business trip and my mum had to tell him over the phone!"

Rio Sasaki

2. How did you feel when you heard you’d been selected to carry an official match ball on to the pitch at RWC 2019?

I was very happy – I did not expect to win! My father was away on a business trip and my mum had to tell him over the phone! I was jumping for joy for a long time after. 

3. What do you think it will be like to carry the ball onto the field? Do you think you’ll be nervous? 

I’m going to be so excited to carry the ball onto the field and I’ll have the attention of the whole crowd. I’m not nervous at the moment but I think I will be when the day comes! 

4. What do you think it’s going to be like to watch the best players in the world live rather than on TV?

I love watching the Kamaishi Seawaves in Top League matches, but I can’t wait to watch players who play at an even higher level! 

5. Who is your favourite rugby Player and Why?

Dan Carter – He is a really great player and has amazing passing and kicking skills. My dad is a really big fan of Dan too and from a young age he showed me videos of him playing. 

6. How do you feel about RWC 2019 coming to Japan? 

I am really looking forward to Rugby World Cup 2019 coming to Japan – It will be great to have people from overseas come to Japan and Kamaishi to watch RWC matches. I’m very excited. 

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