All Blacks to play Japan For 'Challenge Cup'
NEWS: The All Blacks will face Japan en route to their Northern Hemisphere tour in November.
The match, scheduled for Saturday 29 October at the National Stadium in Tokyo, is part of the newly created Challenge Cup.
New Zealand are scheduled to face Wales at Principality Stadium on November 6 – the first of three tests in the United Kingdom – but will now stop off on the way to take on the ‘Brave Blossoms’ on October 29.
The two nations met the first time in 2018 in Tokyo and have played each other six times up to now.
Mark Robinson, CEO of New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said rugby in Japan has grown exponentially in recent years and were looking forward to growing their relationship with the Japanese.
“Rugby in Japan has grown its profile in recent years and that’s been reflected in the results of the national team, so the All Blacks will expect a tough Test in Tokyo. We are looking forward to building on our relationship with Japan Rugby and our partner Taisho Pharmaceutical in October. Taisho’s support for this fixture has been key and I have no doubt it will be a great occasion seeing the two teams play at the National Stadium.”
The Brave Blossoms are coached by two former All Blacks, Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown.
Joseph said this was the level of competition that his side needed to strengthen their squad ahead of next year’s World Cup.
“Today’s announcement is tremendous news that will be welcomed by our fans in Japan and around the world. We’re very much looking forward to hosting the All Blacks in Tokyo and playing in front of our home fans. We are excited to be now facing New Zealand at home, and then England and France on our European tour, three teams that will be in line to lift the Webb Ellis Cup next year in Paris. This is the level of competition that we need to be testing ourselves against, to strengthen our squad ahead of next year’s World Cup.”
Further match details, including the kick-off time, will be announced in due course.
2022 All Blacks Northern Tour schedule (all times NZT)
v Japan, Saturday, 29 October, kick-off TBC, National Stadium, Tokyo
v Wales, Sunday 6 Nov, kick-off 4.15am, Principality Stadium, Cardiff
v Scotland, Monday 14 Nov, kick-off 3.15am, Murrayfield Stadium, Scotland
v England, Saturday 19 Nov, kick-off TBC, Twickenham London
All Blacks v Japan previous results:
1987: Osaka, October 25, 74-0
1987: Tokyo, November 1, 106-4
1995: Bloemfontein, June 4, 145-17 (RWC 1995)
2011: Hamilton, September 16, 83-7 (RWC2011)
2013: Tokyo, November 2, 54-6
2018: Tokyo, November 3, 69-31