Confirmed! All Blacks to play Japan next year ahead of 2019 World Cup




The All Blacks have announced they will play Japan in a one-off Test ahead of their 2018 European tour as part of their preparations for the following year's Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said the November game would have multiple benefits for both teams.
Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand Rugby confirmed this afternoon the All Blacks would face the Brave Blossoms on November 3 next year with the venue to be confirmed at a later date after the RWC venues had been announced.

NZR chief executive Steve Tew said the Test made sense on multiple levels for both countries.

"Interest in rugby in Japan is on a high and will only build as we get closer to Rugby World Cup 2019," he said.

"The Test will not only provide a great opportunity to prepare for the 2018 end of year tour, it also gives the team first-hand experience of playing in Japan less than a year out from the tournament."

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph said the game would be a "wonderful occasion" to help his team develop prior to the event.

"Our team proved at Rugby World Cup in 2015 that we shouldn’t be taken for granted.

"And with the Sunwolves ongoing progress in Super Rugby, we’re confident of putting in a determined performance against the All Blacks."

The All Blacks have played Japan just five times in their 114-year history, including two games in 1987 (which weren't given Test match status) and again in 2013; they've also squared off at the 1995 and 2011 Rugby World Cups.

loading error