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Michael Leitch leads Brave Blossoms' bow to thank fans after World Cup exit

Japan captain Michael Leitch led his side in one last bow, graciously exiting the Rugby World Cup after a 26-3 quarter-final defeat to South Africa.

As the hosts made history by becoming the first Asian side to ever reach the knockout phase of a Rugby World Cup, South Africa proved too much for the aptly named Brave Blossoms, moving into next week's semi-final against Wales.

Kiwi-born Leitch led his side in the traditional Japanese gesture of bowing to show their thanks for the incredible support that the public have given their side over their tournament run.

The gesture has become a key part of team-fan interaction at the World Cup, with multiple sides - including the All Blacks - showing their appreciation for the support given by Japanese crowds.

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Japan's Kiwi skipper paid tribute to his side's supporters after the 26-3 defeat to South Africa. Source: Spark Sport RWC