Rugby: World Rugby opens the door for Brave Blossoms to play in Europe

Rugby: World Rugby opens the door for Brave Blossoms to play in Europe

World Rugby approved Thursday a temporary international calendar that opened up the possibility of the Japanese national team competing with the European top side of the Six Nations Championship.

The new calendar, a response to the turmoil caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, allows Six Nations to complete its schedule, which has been postponed since March, for two consecutive weekends starting October 24.

Japanese players take pictures after the team lost 26-3 to South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in Western Chofu, Tokyo on October 20, 2019. (Joint)

After a week off, the calendar will allow four consecutive weeks of international exchange. To fill these dates, multiple media reports have added Japan and Fiji to the Six Nations side of the eight-team, two-pool tournament.

If travel restrictions allow, Japan will compete in pools with Italy, Scotland and France, and Fiji will join Britain, Wales and Ireland, according to a Guardian report. Each side plays an opponent in every pool. In the final week, each team will face a national team that finishes in the same position in the other pool.

Following Japan’s success at the Rugby World Cup last year, Brave Blossoms had scheduled summer tests in England and fall tests in Scotland and Ireland, all canceled due to a pandemic.

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