Japan qualify for 2015 Rugby World Cup
rugbyworldcup.com 26 May 2014 IRB
Japan join Pool B at England 2015 alongside 1995 and 2007 winners South Africa, Samoa, Scotland and USA and will play their opening match against South Africa at the Brighton Community Stadium on September 19.
After nervy opening exchanges, Japan raced into a 27-3 half-time lead with four tries, showing their desire to play an open and expansive game.
However, the Brave Blossoms did not have it all their own way and a spirited Hong Kong made it difficult for the home side in the second half, scoring the first try through Tom McQueen and impressing in defence.
The final quarter saw the home side stretch their legs with tries from Shinya Makabe, former sumo wrestler Takeshi Kizu, Keisuke Uchida and Yoshikazu Fujita's third of the match to make sure of the win, the championship and a place at England 2015.
It was fitting that Japan’s qualification was sealed at the National Stadium – the venue that will play host to the opening match of Rugby World Cup 2019 after it is rebuilt.
Head coach Eddie Jones said: “It was a difficult game, but I was pleased with how we finished the match as we showed patience and discipline.”
“It was a beautiful ending to one of the most iconic venues in Japan and we are privileged to have played in the final match at the National Stadium in front of such a large crowd.”
“We want to make the quarter-finals at England 2015 and we are preparing to achieve that goal.”
Japan sealed their place in the presence of the Webb Ellis Cup. The iconic trophy was in Tokyo on the first stop of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour which will see Rugby’s most coveted prize visit 15 countries over the next 12 months as part of a celebration of Rugby in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2015.
The dream is not over for Hong Kong, who, as runners-up in the Asian 5 Nations, now progress to the Repechage where they will face Uruguay.
Most popular News:
Hawke's Bay power to third win28.Aug.2015
Hamment to join Tasman coaching team27.Aug.2015
Lomu tips Milner-Skudder to make Cup mark27.Aug.2015
Japan asked to provide World Cup assurances27.Aug.2015
Everything you need to know about the RWC squad naming26.Aug.2015
All Blacks favourites but will battle history - Davies26.Aug.2015