Hosting their first World Cup, can Japan get out of their group and into the knockout stages?
Japan Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
At the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Japan pulled off the greatest upset in history, defeating South Africa 34-32 in Brighton. Results have been erratic since and they need the energy of a nation to do better this time around.
How They Qualified
As hosts of the 2019 tournament, Japan qualified automatically.
Talismanic skipper Michael Leitch has been through the trenches for Japan. Fumiaki Tanaka brings bags of experience at nine and Kazuki Himeno is an exciting talent in the back five of the scrum.
The Coach – Jamie Joseph
The former All Blacks flanker also played for Japan (it was a different time). He led the Highlanders to their first-ever Super Rugby title in 2014.
You will expect Japan to erupt on Russia in the opening game of the tournament in Tokyo, but they need to ensure they don’t physically wilt against tougher opposition throughout the rest of the pool stage.
Japan Rugby World Cup Warm-ups
- Saturday 27 July 2019: Japan 34-21 Fiji
- Saturday 3 August 2019: Japan 41-7 Tonga
- Saturday 10 August 2019: USA 20-34 Japan
- Friday 6 September 2019: Japan v South Africa, Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Saitama, 7.15pm local time, Live on Eurosport
Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Warm-ups
Japan Rugby World Cup Group
Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Group
Japan Rugby World Cup Fixtures
- Fri 20 Sep Japan v Russia (Tokyo)
- Sat 28 Sep Japan v Ireland (Shizuoka)
- Sat 5 Oct Japan v Samoa (Toyota)
- Sun 13 Oct Japan v Scotland (Yokohama)
Our Ireland Rugby World Cup guide.
Japan Rugby World Cup Squad
Japan have named their wider training squad;
Asaeli Ai Valu
Wimpie van der Walt
Michael Leitch (captain)
Amanaki Lelei Mafi
Lomano Lava Lemeki
Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup Fixtures
Previous World Cup Results and Record
Japan’s Rugby World Cup Record: P28 W4 D2 L22
- 1987 Pool stages
- 1991 Pool stages
- 1995 Pool stages
- 1999 Pool stages
- 2003 Pool stages
- 2007 Pool stages
- 2011 Pool stages
- 2015 Pool stages
Follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features.