The Rugby Championship May Be About To Introduce A Fifth Country
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Japan’s hopes of a place in the Rugby Championship have been given a powerful boost.
World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset has given his support to the idea of the Brave Blossoms taking part in an expanded Rugby Championship alongside Australia, South Africa, Argentina and world champions New Zealand.
The country has already begun the process of integration into southern hemisphere rugby with the addition of the Sunwolves to the Super Rugby championship which starts in February.
And Lapasset is clearly hopeful that that spirit of inclusion will extend to the international arena, which would be a huge step for Japan ahead of their hosting of the World Cup in 2019.
“Japan is part of the total global vision of the rugby that we are promoting in the world, especially in the South with Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia,” the Frenchman said yesterday.
“That’s the top five — with Japan. Not just Tier 2 and Tier 1, the top five.
“We need to achieve the process that all five will be pushing together to develop the southern competition and to promote the best rugby ever that we can do in the South.
“We did the same in the North with the Six Nations. Now it will be the five nations in the South.”