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 Sports Media Ltd.
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
After Brian O'Driscoll's emotional final Ireland appearance on home soil, and seeing the Six Nations boil down to a three-horse race, we bring you the Weekend in PIctures
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year