• Kyodo

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Japan’s women’s team on Friday learned their potential Rugby World Cup pool phase opponents after the draw was conducted for the tournament to be played in New Zealand in 2021.

Despite still needing to qualify for the 12-team tournament, Lesley McKenzie’s side saw the Asian qualifying place drawn into Pool B alongside world No. 3-ranked Canada, the sixth-ranked United States and a yet-to-be-determined European qualifier.

The winner of the postponed Asia Rugby Women’s Championship involving Japan, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong will take the Asian qualifying place.

Japan is aiming for their second straight women’s World Cup appearance and fifth overall.

Host and defending champion New Zealand was drawn into Pool A with Australia, Wales and the winner of the final qualification tournament. Current world No. 1-ranked England was drawn into Pool C with France, South Africa and Fiji.

The World Cup kicks off in Auckland on Sept. 18, 2021.

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