World Rugby Rankings:
Rugby U20 Trophy graduate Ryuji Noguchi highlighting the promise of Japan’s young players, Japan’s Brave Blossoms overcame Romania 33-21 in front of 17,702 fans at the Egao Kenko Stadium in Kumamoto
Japan’s highest attendance for a tier two opponent bodes well for the popularity of Rugby World Cup 2019 when the tournament heads to Asia for the first time 2019. Jamie Joseph’s side boosted their rating by three-tenths of a point, but stay in 11th place in the rankings.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s surprise come from behind victory over Portugal at the weekend sees the South Americans leapfrog Korea and push Asia Rugby’s 3rd ranked union out of the world’s top 30 for the first time in many years, rubbing salt into Korean wounds after their recent, disappointing 2017 ARC campaign.
Kenya’s win in Uganda was not enough to lift them above Hong Kong. Asia Rugby’s 2nd ranked union maintains 24th in the rankings, with no doubt eyes on the exploits of Russia and other Tier 2-3 unions during the June international window ahead of Hong Kong union’s annual Cup of Nations test series in the November window.