Japan confirm Wales tour details
September 24, 2012
Japan coach Eddie Jones has confirmed that his side will come up against Wales for two Tests in June next year.
Wales will be without many of their star names will the bulk of their Grand Slam winning squad expected to be called up for British & Irish Lions duty. Warren Gatland will take charge of that side with Rob Howley the favourite to continue as interim boss after leading Wales to Australia last summer.
They will come up against Jones' side on June 8 in Osaka and then in Tokyo a week later. "This is a fantastic opportunity for Japan to play Wales, one of the foremost teams in the world," Jones said. "Playing these games is invaluable to us if we are to achieve our goal of getting into the top 10.
"There is a big gap between the level of rugby played in Japan and international rugby. These two Tests are so important. But two are not enough. You can't play low-level teams and improve. We need 10 games like this a year."
Before that, Jones will take his side to Europe in November for a series of games that includes matches against Romania and Georgia. They will hope to boost their claims for a top ten spot in the IRB rankings with wins on the road but against Wales, they will have to change recent history if they are to get anything out of the Test matches having lost on the seven occasions they have faced their June opposition.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden
"Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side?" Ian Moriarty weighs up the state of French rugby
"By carrying a Great Britain label to the Antipodes, and getting beaten by the Kiwis, they established a tradition which has lasted to this day." Huw Richards rewinds to 1888