• Kyodo

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Japan Top League teams will be able to play more foreign-born players this autumn, the league said Thursday, when it announced several changes to the competition ahead of the 2016-2017 season.

Until now teams were able to have up to three foreign-born players on the pitch at once, provided one was from Asia. Starting this year, a fourth player can also be in the game, provided he hasn’t played internationally for another country prior to June and might in the future be eligible to play for Japan.

The Top League will also alter its try bonus point system to keep in step with Super Rugby. Instead of earning a bonus point for four tries, a team can only earn a point if they score three more tries than their opponents.

Another rule change affecting games will see intermissions change from 10 minutes to 12.

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