All Blacks XV heads to Japan for two clashes
NEWS: The All Blacks XV will play two matches in Japan against the Japan XV in Tokyo and Japan’s National Team, the Brave Blossoms in Kumamoto this July, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Japan Rugby Football Union (JFRU) have announced on Friday.
The teams will compete for the 2023 Challenge Cup kicking off Saturday, July 8, at Tokyo’s historic Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo before a second match on Saturday, July 15 at Egao Kenko Stadium in Kumamoto.
NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said the two matches would provide a valuable opportunity for the All Blacks XV to compete on a global stage against a quality international opponent.
“The All Blacks XV is a crucial development pathway to the All Blacks, so locking in international matches of this calibre is crucial to the growth of our next tier of talent and also provides valuable international experience for a wider base of players in a Rugby World Cup year.
“We’re looking forward to the team heading to Japan and competing in what will be two competitive and high-quality matches. It will expose our group to a different playing style, and different life experiences, which can only benefit their development.”
Further details around these two matches, including the All Blacks XV coaching group and kick-off times will be announced in due course.
The All Blacks XV 2023 Challenge Cup schedule is:
v Japan XV, Saturday, July 8, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, Tokyo
v Japan, Saturday, July 15, Kumamoto