Two weeks into Rugby World Cup 2023 and one of the most commonly heard phrases is "I miss Japan and the 2019 tournament."

For the many traveling Japanese fans, the expression has as much to do with what is happening with the Brave Blossoms as it does some of the other issues that have blighted the tournament so far.

On the field, Japan has been a shadow of its former self, a point not lost on a number of observers from around the world who pointed out the Brave Blossoms of 2019 would more than likely have been able to beat England last Sunday in Nice.