JRFU Reaction to Rugby World Cup 2023 Draw

Following the RWC 2023 Pool Draw held today in Paris, Japan’s national team, the Brave Blossoms has been drawn to play in Pool D with England, Argentina, Oceania 1 and Americas 2.

■Rugby World Cup 2023 Pools 

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
New Zealand South Africa Wales England
France Ireland Australia Japan
Italy Scotland Fiji Argentina
Americas 1 Asia/Pacific 1 Europe 1 Oceania 1
Africa 1 Europe 2 Final Qualifier Winner Americas 2

* For details on the remaining qualification process please refer to World Rugby. Please click here for the latest World Rugby rankings.

At the conclusion of the draw, the following comments from the Japan Rugby Football Union were provided:

■Shigetaka Mori, JRFU President

“We’re enormously excited to be facing England and Argentina, as well as the yet to be qualified representatives of Oceania 1 and Americas 2 in pool D at France 2023. Having reached the final eight in 2019, we showed the world the potential of Japanese rugby. I trust that as a team we can maintain our focus on training and self-discipline so that we can continue to compete with the world’s best. While 2020 has been disappointing, with Japan unable to play test matches due to COVID-19, our Top League starts again in January and the Brave Blossoms will face the British & Irish Lions next June in Edinburgh. We very much look forward to the coming year as we watch our players on their journey towards France 2023.”

■Jamie Joseph, Japan Head Coach

“It’s a huge honour for the team to be facing such great opponents in pool D. Rugby World Cup 2023 in France is sure to be an epic tournament and we’re looking very much forward to the next three years of preparation and focus as work towards 2023. RWC 2019 showed to the world Japan’s passion for rugby and love for the Brave Blossoms. We still have much room to improve and there is no greater stage than a World Cup to demonstrate to the world the continued development of this great team.”

■Michael Leitch, RWC 2019 Japan Captain

“We’re in a tough pool and each match represents a unique challenge. The squad is super excited by the prospect of playing in France in 2023 and with the pools now confirmed, we will start working both individually and as a group towards the goal of representing Japan on Rugby’s largest stage. France 2023 will give us another opportunity to show the world the style of rugby that is unique to the Brave Blossoms.”