The All Blacks will respect Japanese culture by covering up tattoos as requested by Rugby World Cup 2019 directors and World Rugby.

Teams and supporters have been warned they need to cover tattoos in public to avoid causing offence to the Japanese.

Players have been asked by World Rugby to wear rash vests when they use public gyms or swimming pools, as tattoos are associated in Japan with Yakuza, the Japanese mafia.

New Zealand Rugby chief rugby officer Nigel Cass said the All Blacks always respect local customs and cultures when touring.

“When any of our teams tour we endeavour to be respectful of the local customs and culture, and this will be no different when we visit Japan both this year and next year.”



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