Despite a 17-14 victory over France in their opening match of the HSBC Paris Sevens, Japan have been relegated as a core team from the series.
It is a disappointing blow for the team as they look to continue their preparations for a home Olympic Games in 2020.
Having finished fourth in Rio, Japan will now need to prepare without being a core team on the 10-round international series.
“It’s really disappointing because we came to France in the hope of making the top eight,” said captain Kameli Soejima.
“That would have kept our chances alive in staying in the Series next year. We obviously started strongly against France, but we let ourselves down and only have ourselves to blame.
“We have proven that we can compete with the top teams, but the main key for us now is to be consistent.
“Not only in the first seven minutes but the whole 14 matches with whoever we play, and of course throughout every tournament.”
Having beaten France Japan lost to New Zealand in their second match. With Kenya qualifying for the Cup quarter finals Japan knew they needed a win over Scotland to join them.
Leading 21-15 with the final whistle blown, Kaleem Barreto scored in the corner for Scotland. But it was Gavin Lowe’s incredible conversion that secured a win for his side, ensuring Japan only qualified for the Challenge Trophy on points difference.
— Asia Rugby (@asiarugby) June 2, 2019
All was not lost however as Wales too only qualified for the Challenge Trophy. However, a 52-7 defeat to England in their quarter-final confirmed Japan would not get enough points to overturn the deficit.
Japan will now play in this year’s Asia Rugby Men’s Sevens Series, before attempting to qualify as a core team once more in Hong Kong next year.