Whilst Donald Trump might be trying to work out what to do with North Korea, Japan and their coach Jamie Joseph are planning a very different Korean showdown as the plans for this year’s Asian rugby championship take shape. With 16 new faces expected to be in the squad, Joseph is keen to talk up the potential of this new Japanese team for 2019.
The Asian Championship, which features a home-and-away format should provide the Brave Blossoms with a run of “easy” matches against limited opposition, which potentially will lead to a 25th title. However, will it do Japan any good playing inferior teams when really they should be challenging best teams in rugby to ensure they are progressing as a team.
Since starting in the coaching role Joseph has seen his team thrashed 54-20 by Argentina before a close win over Georgia and defeats by Wales and Fiji on their winter tour of Europe. However the Brave Blossoms can expect an easier time against the Koreans and Hong Kong after racking up 242 points and conceding just 23 in four games last year.
Japan host South Korea in the return fixture on April 29 before facing Hong Kong at home on May 6 and away on May 13.