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Japan proved it’s ready to mix it with the big boys of world rugby Saturday, beating Italy 26-23 to pick up the team’s 10th straight win and first ever over the Azzurri.

Inspired by some tremendous scrummaging the Brave Blossoms battered the opposition into submission, forcing the Italians to make a number of errors and ensuring the hosts never trailed in a game played in front of 13,816 at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground.

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