Japan have touched down in Singapore with a chance to compete with the very best in the world of rugby sevens.
Having qualified for the 2018/19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with victory over Germany in the Hong Kong Sevens qualifier final, Japan get an immediate opportunity to play on the series as the 16th team.
Their last appearance on the series was in London earlier this year, where their relegation from the series was confirmed.
Having gained just 20 points across the season they finished 15th, nine points below Russia, and had to qualify once again at the Hong Kong Sevens.
“We’ll take inspiration from winning the Hong Kong Sevens qualifier,” said captain Dai Ozawa.
“We need to take that through to Singapore this weekend and this is where we’ll try and compete with the current core teams.”
The pool draw for Singapore was done in Hong Kong and Japan will face Hong Kong champions Fiji in their first match.
But, with Spain reaching the quarter-finals in Hong Kong and Russia reaching the Challenge Trophy semi-finals, Japan will face these two sides as well on day one.
“We’re playing Fiji, Spain and Russia in Pool A here in Singapore,” added Ozawa.
“It will not be easy but we’re really excited to be back involved with a Sevens series event.”