Rugby

Jamie Joseph expecting Japan's summer tests against England, Wales to be called off or postponed

KYODO

With Japan's summer test matches against Wales and Rugby World Cup runner-up England almost guaranteed to be called off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Brave Blossoms coach Jamie Joseph is hoping the games can be played at a later date.

Talking recently to the Pick up the Pace podcast from his home in New Zealand, Joseph said that "Our (summer) test matches look likely to be either canceled or postponed until the end of the year."

"It's all up in the air when we can get back into Japan to prepare for those test matches. Once we get to understand what the (playing) landscape is like, we just plan accordingly."

Japan was scheduled to play Wales in Shizuoka on June 27 before taking on England on July 4 and 11 in Oita and Kobe, respectively, and England coach Eddie Jones joined Joseph in hoping the games could be played later this year.

The former Japan coach, who is currently working from his office in Tokyo, said he is hoping domestic rugby in England can start in July and that the tour of Japan can then be rescheduled to October.

A spokesperson from the Japan Rugby Football Union told Kyodo News they cannot "say the exact date (when a decision on the fate of the games will be) announced officially, though it won't be long."

"The current consensus among the stakeholders is that it is difficult to hold the matches as originally scheduled," the spokesperson added.

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