• Kyodo

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The Japan Rugby Top League’s first season after Japan hosts this year’s Rugby World Cup will begin on Jan. 12, the league announced Friday.

All 16 teams will play each opponent once in a round-robin format with the league championship handed to the points leader after 120 games, played in 30 different venues, are completed. This is a departure from recent formats, where the best regular-season teams advanced to a playoff round to decide the league champion.

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