• Kyodo


The main bulk of the World XV side to play the Brave Blossoms on Saturday arrived in Japan on Tuesday morning with coach Robbie Deans saying the invitation side covered “both extremes.”

“We’ve got guys who have been there and done that and won Rugby World Cups and we’ve got guys playing for World Cup spots, so it’s a great opportunity for rugby fans in Japan to see some world-class household names and get an insight into how their own national team will do at the World Cup,” the former Crusaders and Wallabies coach told Kyodo News.

The World Cup winners on the squad include Bakkies Botha, who triumphed in 2007 with South Africa, and the New Zealand quartet of Andrew Hore, Andy Ellis, Adam Thomson and Ali Williams, winners in 2011.

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