Brave Blossoms Prepare for British & Irish Lions 2021
The JRFU has announced the short return of the Sunwolves as the team will play the national Japan XV team in preparation for their one-off test match against the British & Irish Lions in June 2021.
The Brave Blossoms training squad was announced previously, and the Japan XV will take on a Sunwolves in the Lipovitan D Challenge Cup 2021 on June 12, 2021. Japan will then play the B&I Lions at Murrayfield in Scotland on June 26, 2021.
The Japan XV team is made up of what is to be considered the Brave Blossoms national rugby team but the match won’t be given test match status.
The Japan XV will be coached by Jamie Joseph while the Sunwolves will be coached by Naoya Okubo – Head Coach of the Japan Top League side, Yamaha Jubilo.
Jamie Joseph said of the upcoming match, via the JRFU, ” The Sunwolves made a massive contribution to Japanese Rugby during their time in Super Rugby, so it’s fantastic to see the team reassemble for this crucial match.
I’m thrilled for our fans who have been waiting so long to see us once again take the field and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making this game a reality. It’s a hugely important match for the national team ahead of the massive challenge of facing the British & Irish Lions in Edinburgh.”
The Sunwolves’ squad will be announced in mid-May before meeting in a training camp in June.
In early April 2021, the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) announced a 52-man training squad in preparation and the Top League enters the final stages over the coming weeks, depending on injuries, some squad places may still change (a small number of players were added late in April).
The preparation match will take place at the ECOPA Stadium in Shizuoka. Japan famously beat Ireland in their RWC 2019 pool match at the venue. It’s not clear yet how or where the game will be televised or streamed.
- Date: June 12, 2021
- Venue: ECOPA Stadium, Shizuoka. Japan
British & Irish Lions 2021
The squad for the 2021 B&I Lions was announced on May 6th 2021 and already has rugby fans engaging on the subject of who made the squad and who did not.
The Springboks, who like Japan have not played an international test match since the 2019 RWC, have players spread across the globe, playing in Europe, Japan and in SA.
Several players in contention for the Boks are in the Top League in Japan, including Jesse Kriel, Franco Mostert, Malcolm Marx, Kwagga Smith, Makazole Mapimpi among others.
- Date: Saturday 26 June 2021
- Venue: BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland
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