Monday, 24 March 2014

Japan announce match with Samoa to be played prior to the PNC

Match pic

Japan have announced there will be an extra match against Samoa taking place on May 30 at the Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo, a week prior to the Pacific Nations Cup.

In 2013, after as per usual thrashing the Asian 5 Nations opposition, Japan headed into the Pacific Nations Cup tournament and for the opening two games failed to front up to the physicality of Tonga and Fiji, both of whom despite less time together as a squad had come from a higher standard of rugby.
Coach Eddie Jones stated that his Japan side had picked up "bad habits" from the easy Asian 5 Nations tournament before leading into the serious opposition. This year, as a response to 2013, Japan have organised a game against Samoa to take place on 30 May at the Chichibunomiya Stadium, a week before the each side starts the PNC.
The game against Samoa after the Asian 5 Nations is also on top of a friendly game against a "Asia Pacific Dragons" side to be played before the tournament. In all that means Eddie Jones will get 9 games between April and June to test out his squad.
For Samoa, as the game falls outside of the release window and they will likely not be at full strength, they will probably be testing players of their own out in the fixture as well. The game is more brought about by Japan, who want to come into the PNC against at least a decent opponent rather than an Asian one.
Japan Mid Year 2014 Fixtures:
26/04 – Asia Pacific Dragons (Hanazono Field, Osaka)
03/05 – Philippines (University of Makati Stadium, Makati)
10/05 – Sri Lanka (Mizuho Rugby Stadium, Nagoya)
17/05 – South Korea (Incheon Munhak Stadium, Incheon)
25/05 – Hong Kong (National Olympic Stadim, Tokyo)
30/05 – Samoa (Chichibunomiya Stadium, Tokyo)
07/06 – Canada (Swangard Stadium, Vancouver)
14/06 – USA (Aloha Stadium, Honolulu)
21/06 – Italy (Chichibunomiya Stadium, Tokyo)

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