Will Japan play in the new 8-Nations Tournament 2020?
Japan has been included in a newly proposed 8-Nations Tournament due to take place in Europe at the end of 2020, the inclusion has been speculated for a couple of weeks, but will the Brave Blossoms be able to play in the new rugby tournament?
What is the 8 team rugby tournament?
The new international rugby tournament is due to begin on November 14 2020, but not before the completion of the longest-duration 6 Nations in history, which is due to be wrapped up a couple of weeks beforehand, delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
What are the pools?
The eight international teams will be split into two pools of four teams:
Pool A (expected to be played at Twickenham, England)
Pool B (Venue, TBC)
Each team will play each other in their respective pools and then face teams from the other pool that finished in the same ranking over a final weekend. EG Pool A Winner vs Pool B Winner, Pool A 2nd vs Pool B 2nd etc
The tournament will run over four consecutive weekends and culminate in a finals weekend on December 5th 2020.
Japanese players have not had any rugby since February 2020 and no new Japanese Top League is scheduled until 2021 (January). Before the announcement of the confirmation of the international rugby window by World Rugby, the JRFU had “said they were exploring all possibilities to play Tier 1 teams”.
Then there are still the details of Japanese coaches and players being currently separated in different countries, quarantine details and travel restrictions to address.
International Rugby Windows 2020
On the 30th July 2020, the World Rugby Council “approved a temporary adjustment to Regulation 9 to accommodate the release of international players for revised 2020 windows.”
The temporary global window will allow for the completion of the 2020 men’s and women’s Six Nations Championships on 24 and 31 October 2020. This will be followed by a rest weekend on 7 November 2020 and four consecutive rounds of international matches (which are the dates for the 8-team international tournament).
The windows approved by the World Rugby Council for player release are:
- Temporary global player release window for 2020: 24 October – first weekend of December 2020
- Temporary Rugby Championship window for 2020: 7 November – second weekend of December 2020
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