Japan secure place at JWRT 2014

(IRB.COM) Monday 19 August 2013
 Japan secure place at JWRT 2014
Japan proved too strong for the rivals at the ARFU Under 19 Championship - Photo: Shih-Wei Kuo

Japan will play in a fifth consecutive IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy after confirming their place at the 2014 edition in Hong Kong by emphatically winning the ARFU Under 19 Championship in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei.

The Japanese youngsters – a team being labelled Generation 2019 by the Japan Rugby Football Union with some expected to figure when the country hosts Rugby World Cup 2019 – won all three of their matches convincingly, scoring 216 points and conceding just 14.

Japan opened with a 91-3 win over their hosts Chinese Taipei with centre Ishida Kanta and wing Matsui Chihito both scoring hat-tricks. They followed this by beating Hong Kong 74-8 with eight of their 11 tries scored by forwards, including a hat-trick by flanker Takeo Suenaga.

They concluded the tournament with a 51-3 win over Korea and Japan can now turn their attentions to the eight-team Junior World Rugby Trophy in Hong Kong next year, hoping to secure the title and a return to the IRB Junior World Championship after reaching the final three times in the last four years.

Japan will be joined at JWRT 2014 by hosts Hong Kong – who beat Chinese Taipei 34-31 on Saturday to finish second ahead of the Koreans – as well as Canada, Tonga and USA, the side relegated from the IRB Junior World Championship in France earlier this year.

The remaining three places in the Under 20 tournament, which will be hosted for the first time in Asia, will be filled by the African, European and South American age grade champions, who will be known over the coming months.