• Kyodo

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Tuesday in Japan marks one month to go until the country becomes the first Asian nation to host the Rugby World Cup, the sport’s quadrennial showpiece that to date has been dominated by the Southern Hemisphere powerhouses.

Twenty teams will battle it out for the Webb Ellis Cup from Sept. 20-Nov. 2, with Japan — recently crowned Pacific Nations Cup champion-— gunning for the knockout stage for the first time following its historic upset over two-time World Cup winner South Africa at the 2015 tournament in England.

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