Rugby players to hide tattoos in Japan

Rugby players with tattoos will cover them up at next year's World Cup in Japan. World Rugby wants to avoid upsetting people in Japan. Tattoos are a taboo and are usually associated with yakuza crime gangs in Japan. Many spas and pools ban people with tattoos. However, in 2016, Japan's tourism agency asked these places to relax their rules. It said tourists had tattoos for different reasons. It suggested giving tourists stickers to cover the tattoos.

World Rugby said the teams understood the cultural sensitivity about tattoos. It said none of the competing players had a problem with covering their tattoos. They want to respect Japanese culture. Players will wear a watersports vest as a form of "self-policing". New Zealand's All Blacks team said its players would follow the request and would, "endeavor to be respectful of the local customs and culture" when the team visits Japan.