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Japan’s Michael Leitch  and Yu Tamura  celebrate victory over Scotland in Yokohama,  Japan. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Hanpa nai! The Japan rugby team have come screaming from the edges of expectation and reason to make this Rugby World Cup their own coming-out party. (...)

Japan’s wing Kenki Fukuoka scores a try during the  Rugby World Cup Pool A match against  Scotland at the International Stadium in Yokohama. Photograph:  Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

Japan 28 Scotland 21 Some days a country is unbeatable. Ireland against England under Croke Park’s glare in 2007. New Zealand the week after any All (...)

Japan’s head coach Jamie Joseph has hit out at Scotland for threatening legal action over the potential concellation of their Rugby World Cup Pool A meeting on Sunday. Photo: Odd Andersen/Getty Images

Pool A: Japan v Scotland Kick-off: 7.45pm local time (11.45am Irish time), Sunday. Venue: Yokohama. How to follow: The Irish Times liveblog will begi(...)

Scotland’s head coach Gregor Townsend has called on World Rugby to do everything they can to ensure their clash with Japan goes ahead. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/Getty Images

Gregor Townsend has called on World Cup chiefs to do everything they can to ensure Scotland’s win-or-bust clash with Japan goes ahead on Sunday — even(...)

Ireland’s Sean Cronin during a training session ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup match against Samoa. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland are set for a Rugby World Cup quarter-final meeting with the All Blacks if Scotland’s final pool game against Japan in Yokohama is cancelled d(...)

Scotland players celebrate with John Barclay after their 2019 Rugby World Cup win over Russia. Photo: Mark R. Cristino/EPA

Following Scotland’s 61-0 bonus point win over Russia on Wednesday, the Pool A qualification picture has become somewhat clearer. But that’s not to sa(...)

Scotland’s scrumhalf George Horne celebrates after scoring a try during the 2019 Rugby World Cup win over Russia. Photo: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

Scotland 61 Russia 0 That’s the easy part done, the hard bit is still to come. Scotland beat Russia 61-0, their biggest win in 15 years, and earned t(...)

Darcy Graham is the only Scotland player to retain their place in the starting XV for their clash with Russia. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Gregor Townsend’s eyes turned to a likely quarter-final decider against Japan on Sunday with the selection of his Scotland team to play Russia in thei(...)

Japan’s wing Kotaro Matsushima scores the crucial fourh try in his side’s win over Samoa. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

It is a big week for Irish rugby, as Joe Schmidt’s side prepare for their final pool fixture of the Rugby World Cup, against Samoa in Fukuoka on Satur(...)

Fans show their appreciation to Japan’s players  following the  victory over Samoa at City of Toyota Stadium in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

If nothing else, at least Pool A is by some distance the most interesting of the four at this World Cup. Whereas the other three are pretty much do(...)

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