Four Tests Confirmed for 2017

TOKYO (Dec. 22) – Japan’s calendar for 2017 became a lot clearer with confirmation of four tests for the Brave Blossoms.

Romania will be the first opposition for Jamie Joseph’s team when they visit Japan for a game on June 10.

The Oaks will be followed to these shores by Ireland, who play a two-test series on June 17 and 24. The venues for the three games will be announced in the new year.

“Romania will be a first experience for a lot of the players and staff come June 2017,” Joseph said.

“None of the coaching staff and many of the players have yet to experience playing the Romanians who are renowned to be very physical opponents. The match precedes two test matches against Ireland and will be one of three great test matches for the new Japan team.”

In November, the Brave Blossoms will begin their test window with a home game against Australia.

The Wallabies will stop over in Japan on their way to Europe with the two teams meeting on Nov. 4.

The game, at a venue yet to be determined, marks the first time the Wallabies and Brave Blossoms will play on Japanese soil.

“Playing experienced teams such as the Wallabies are always very difficult given their experience and ability but if we are to improve in time for the Rugby World Cup 2019 we need to keep challenging the best teams in the world so we can also get better,” Joseph said.

Japan have played Romania five times, winning four. The last time the two teams played in Japan was May 25, 2005, when the hosts triumphed 23-16.

Japan and Ireland have met in five full internationals with the Irish winning all five, including 44-12 and 47-18 victories in Osaka and Tokyo in 2005.

Japan have played and lost four times to the Wallabies, including defeats at Rugby World Cup 1987 and 2007.