Japan are set to have some challenging matches in 2017, which see’s Romania being their first opposition on June 10, followed by two tests with Ireland on June 17 and 24.
As many would expect, Jamie Joseph, the Japan RFU manager, expects the Romanian match to be physical. “None of the coaching staff and many of the players have yet to experience playing the Romanians who are renowned to be very physical opponents. The match precedes two test matches against Ireland and will be one of three great test matches for the new Japan team.” In their last 5 encounters, Japan have won 4.
In November, Japan then face a home game against Australia, which will be the Aussies warm up before heading onto Europe and the Autumn series against England.
“Playing experienced teams such as the Wallabies are always very difficult given their experience and ability but if we are to improve in time for the Rugby World Cup 2019 we need to keep challenging the best teams in the world so we can also get better,” Joseph said.
With both Ireland and Australia are expected to field strong squads, so Japan’s young Brave Blossoms will need to be at the top of their game to come away with victory. Ireland are looking a increasingly strong squad for the Rugby World Cup 2019, with several emerging players being molded by Schmidt and their recent habit of beating southern hemisphere team now being a regular occurrence. Australia need to use 2017 as a rebuilding exercise in readiness for 2019, 2016 was a woeful year for the Wallabies, so they have to set down some markers in 2017 and show they are building for 2019.