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Japan’s Luke Thompson during the 2015 Rugby World Cup game against the USA at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester, England.  Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Brighton 2015: spot the Kiwi on 83 minutes, having milled Adriaan Strauss off Japanese ball, all but leaning on the shoulder of Harumichi Tatekawa yet(...)

Japan players celebrate their surprise victory in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Japan in Brighton. Photograph:  Charlie Crowhurst/Getty

South Africa’s head coach Heyneke Meyer said that the result was “unacceptable; I have to apologise to the nation.” Harry Potter author JK Rowling twe(...)

 With a physical battle expected against the Springboks, Japan captain Michael Leitch is joined in the backrow by Pieter Labuschagne and Amanaki Mafi. Photograph:  Visionhaus/Getty Images

Friday’s Test against South Africa is a “must-perform” match for Japan, coach Jamie Joseph said after naming a strong squad for the contest as the Bra(...)

Jean Kleyn and James Ryan are two of Ireland’s secondrow options. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Pool A Ireland Backs: Conor Murray, Luke McGrath, Johnny Sexton, Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose, Chris Farrell(...)

Japan international Amanaki Mafi will stand trial in a New Zealand court next year for an assault charge, allowing him to play at the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty

Japan international Amanaki Mafi will stand trial in a New Zealand court next year for an assault charge, allowing him to play at the Rugby World Cup.(...)

Ananaki Lelei Mafi of Japan is held up by Tonga in Osaka. Photograph: Getty Images

A Yu Tamura-inspired Japan thrashed Tonga 41-7 in Osaka on Saturday to make it two wins from two in the Pacific Nations Cup as they continued their pr(...)

Japan captain Michael Leitch. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty

Japan Who are they Cast your mind back to Brighton in 2015, and one of the most stunning victories in rugby history as Japan beat the mighty Springb(...)

Scotland’s Finn Russell in action duringhis side’s win over France at Murrayfield in August. Photograph: Ian Rutherford/PA

Pool A Ireland - world ranking 2nd (8-1) Scotland - 7th (40-1) Japan - 10th (150-1) Samoa - 16th (500-1) Russia - 20th (2500-1) The contenders A fi(...)

Hanazono stadium ahead of Japan’s match against a World XV last month. Photograph: Getty Images

While Japan’s players celebrated their stunning 34-32 victory over South Africa at the last World Cup, the cameras briefly cut to a middle-aged man, s(...)

Japanese fans look on during the match against Australia at Nissan Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Yokohama, Kanagawa. The sport is growing in popularity but whether stadiums will be filled to capacity during the World Cup remains a question. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

When Eddie Jones was the coach of Japan he once cancelled a training session and gave everyone the day off. In response, he had never seen his players(...)

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