Ireland to play Japan in Dublin in November 2020
Brave Blossoms added to autumn Test itinerary along with Australia and South Africa
Japan celebrate their Rugby World Cup win over Ireland in Shizuoka. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Japan’s rising stock in the game in light of them memorably hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup has been reflected in some of their fixture scheduling for next year, with a Test against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium next November being added to England’s two-Test tour in July and a game against Scotland next autumn as well.
The Brave Blossom’s shock 19-12 win over Ireland in their second pool match had a profound effect on the tournament, as well as the two protagonists concerned, and the Japan Rugby Football Union has today announced that they will play Ireland on November 21st in the Aviva Stadium next year.
Following Ireland’s two-Test tour to Australia next July, in announcing a new four-year broadcast deal with Channel Four last year, the IRFU commented that Ireland would face “Australia, South Africa and another team to be announced” in 2020.
It now transpires that Japan will be that other team in a fixture that should be given added resonance by what happened in Shizuoka on September 28th. The same will surely apply when Scotland host the Brave Blossoms as well after their thrilling 28-21 win over Gregor Towsend’s side in the Pool A finale. Japan have arrived.
Speaking at the final press conference of the 2019 World Cup a day after South Africa were crowned champions for a third time, World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont also welcomed Japan’s upgraded Test itinerary next year.
“There has been much talk about the future of the Brave Blossoms. Our message is clear, we will do everything within our power to support them and all emerging teams to get regular access and meaningful fixtures in high-level competitions.
“And that includes, for the Brave Blossoms, matches against England and Ireland in the next 12 months.”