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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C

# brave blossoms

All time
# brave blossoms
Japan learning to live with great expectations and the pressure of being marked men
The Brave Blossoms take on Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
# brave blossoms
Japan recall Kotaro Matsushima for Saturday's Test at the Aviva
Yu Tamura also named in Brave Blossoms side to face Ireland in the first Test of the November series.
# Analysis
What will Ireland have picked out from Japan's only game since July?
Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown’s side are incisive and intelligent in attack.
# brave blossoms
James Ryan: 'That game in 2019 is probably one of the toughest I've ever played'
James Ryan is warning Ireland fans not to overlook Japan’s threat next weekend.
# brave blossoms
'It's about belief in our game' - Japan are becoming rugby's great entertainers
Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown back their team to take risks and attack with intent.
# brave blossoms
Keenan expects Ireland to 'have our hands full' against high-tempo Japan
The Leinster fullback is a keen admirer of the attacking talent in the Brave Blossoms squad.
# the wait is over
After their World Cup heroics, Japan finally make a welcome return to the Test stage
After a difficult year, the Brave Blossoms are looking to make a big impression against the Lions.
# brave blossoms
Japan name one debutant among team of World Cup stars to face the Lions
Jamie Joseph’s men haven’t played a Test since 2019.
# Highlander
'I was more nervous about the haka than the game... It was a huge honour'
Japan star Kazuki Himeno is back on international duty after a season in New Zealand.
# brave blossoms
World Cup star Matsushima set for 'once-in-a-lifetime experience' against Lions
The Clermont flyer is hoping Japan can pick up where they left off in 2019.
# brave blossoms
Joseph calls up Japan World Cup heroes for 'huge' Lions and Ireland games
Ex-Munster wing Gerhard van den Heever will be a familiar face.
# brave blossoms
Gatland's Lions to face Japan before departing on South Africa tour
The game is set to be played at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in June 2021.
# gratitude
Rugby fans mob Japan's Brave Blossoms at victory parade
The hosts reached the quarter finals for the first time at this year’s World Cup.
# re-signed
Joseph to take Japan to next Rugby World Cup, ruling out All Blacks role
The Kiwi led the Brave Blossoms to their first World Cup quarter-final last month.
# Arigatou
Sayonara, Japan! Curtain comes down on a memorable World Cup
The Brave Blossoms’ stunning exploits were a real highlight over the past seven weeks.
# Revenge
Farrell's Ireland to host Japan, Springboks and Wallabies in November 2020
The Brave Blossoms shocked Ireland at their home World Cup.
# Emotional
'We're a team of guys who aren't superstars' - Japan bow out with pride
Jamie Joseph’s team have won over neutrals from around the rugby world.
# brave blossoms
'We're grateful for the opportunity to inspire Japan and we showed that'
Japan aren’t finished in this World Cup yet after setting up a quarter-final with the Springboks.
AS IT HAPPENED
Japan v Scotland, Rugby World Cup
This match will determine who Ireland are to face in the quarter-finals, so we’re going minute-by-minute.
# fame
'When I want to go out, I want to have a coffee, but it's impossible'
Michael Leitch can’t leave Japan’s team hotel without being mobbed by autograph-hunting fans.
# brave blossoms
Scottish legal talk 'undermines' Japan's World Cup run, fumes Joseph
The fall-out from the cancellation of games at the tournament continues.
# brave blossoms
Japan make three changes from Ireland win for showdown with Samoa
Michael Leitch returns for Saturday’s game but the captain’s armband is retained by Pieter Labuschagne.
# brave blossoms
'We had been preparing for this game for a hell of a lot longer than the Irish had'
Japan lit up the World Cup with sensational display in Shizuoka.
# picked apart
'We got a 12-3 lead and we stopped playing to a degree': Schmidt laments penalty calls after shock in Shizuoka
Ireland conceded nine penalties, and Schmidt complained about four ‘tough’ offside calls.
# brave blossoms
Japan need 'best game of their lives' as captain Leitch dropped for Ireland clash
Head coach Jamie Joseph was surprised not to see Johnny Sexton’s name in Ireland’s squad.
# brave blossoms
'Key weapon' - Ireland's opponents Japan aim high at Rugby World Cup after naming squad
The hosts face Russia in the tournament’s opener on 20 September.
# Movers and Shakers
Ireland's RWC pool rivals Japan rise to 9th in world rankings after impressive win over USA
Jamie Joseph’s side are in rude health.
# Pool A
Japan captain Leitch 'quietly confident' as he faces World Cup pool with Ireland
‘Once we get out of (the pool) we’ve either got New Zealand or South Africa, and we’re not going to lay down for them either.’
# brave blossoms
'If we are going to take the All Blacks down, then it is going to be tomorrow'
Japan’s New Zealand-born captain senses an opportunity against a weakened All Blacks team.
# kobe beef
'Both sides went at it furiously': Italy withstand Brave Blossoms fightback to end season with victory
Conor O’Shea’s men dominated the early stages and took a 19-3 lead before Japan were stirred into a reaction.
# full flight
Three magic Keith Earls assists and all the highlights from Ireland's summer tour to the US and Japan
Not content with sealing a record for himself, the Limerick man assisted five tries for five different scorers.
# top men
The big winners from Ireland's high-scoring summer tour
Ireland had some freedom to play in the US and Japan, but these men made the most of the chances.
# big in japan
Overshadowed by Lions, but Ireland a joy to watch at tail end of historic season
The finale of a lengthy international campaign is your early-morning appetiser.
# inspiration + perspiration
All the little affirmations paying off as Andrew Conway revels chance to wear Ireland jersey
The Munster wing says he was not consistent enough to earn international recognition before this year.
# Reaction
Conan's Barbarian rugby, new kids impress and more talking points from Ireland's big win
Ireland’s Rugby World Cup pool looks even more manageable after this morning’s seven-try rout.
# record pace
Keith Earls on fire again as Ireland run 7 past Japan
Joe Schmidt’s side hit the 50-point mark for the second week running thanks to big displays from Earls and Jack Conan.
AS IT HAPPENED
Japan v Ireland, summer tour
We’re getting in a pre-breakfast helping of international rugby. There’s plenty for everyone.
# familiar feel
Solidity all important as Ireland tackle Sunwolves-laded Japan after heavy travel week
Experimentation has taken a back seat this week after five new caps were unleashed against the US.
# brothers grin
'Great day for the family,' but whirlwind tour leaves little time for Scannell brothers to celebrate
Staving off jet-lag is the first job for Joe Schmidt’s squad after arriving in Japan yesterday.
# repertoire
Ringrose will continue to hone kicking skills, but it may be a while before you see him with the tee again
The centre landed a beauty from the sideline in New Jersey, but it won’t necessarily become a regular occurence.