Matt Williams: Ireland’s Japan defeat a victory for rugby

Ireland’s attacking philosophy is outdated as they fail to evolve from the highs of 2018

Ireland players leave the pitch following their defeat to Japan. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty

Ireland players leave the pitch following their defeat to Japan. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty

Ireland’s devastating defeat at the hands of Japan was a long time coming, for both teams.

In awarding the Rugby World Cup to Japan, World Rugby had two primary objectives. Firstly, gain exposure for the tournament on the lucrative Japanese and wider Asian sporting markets. Secondly, it wanted to bring rugby’s profile centre stage in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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