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While the Japanese rugby team has captivated a second-straight Rugby World Cup with its giant killing on the pitch, for many local fans of the sport, the tournament’s main attraction is a side with a somewhat more illustrious pedigree.

The Brave Blossoms’ 19-12 win over heavyweight Ireland over the weekend may have given sales of the hosts’ red-and-white jersey a big boost, but around Japan’s World Cup venues, Japanese fans sporting the iconic black shirt of three-time champion New Zealand are an ever-present sight.

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