More than 1.5 million ticket applications have already been submitted for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, according to World Rugby, the global governing body of rugby union.

World Rugby said that demand had exceeded supply for the number of tickets available during the initial team and stadium pack, rugby family, rugby friends and host city priority application phases.

The priority ballot application phase opened on Saturday and will now run until June 26.

Japan Rugby 2019, the organising committee behind the event, had been targeting a total of 1.8 million tickets sold.

Additionally, demand for official supporter tour deals through the 21 global official travel agents has been so strong that STH Group, which is selling the packages, has increased its sales forecast by 20 per cent.

Hospitality sales are also tracking well ahead of previous Rugby World Cups with more than 6,000 registrations to date.

“Five hundred days to go marks an exciting milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2019,” STH Group chief executive Simon Jefford said.

“From the interest we’ve seen across both the official hospitality and official supporter tours programmes, it’s clear that rugby fans from around the world want to be part of this historic sporting event.

“The tournament in Japan is going to be a true once in a lifetime event and we are looking forward to providing spectators with the ultimate hospitality and travel experiences.”

Image: hirobi