World Rugby is set to certify Japan as a tier-one rugby nation following the Brave Blossoms successful run at the 2019 World Cup.
According to a report by Nikkei Rugby, Bill Beaumont won the Japan Rugby Football Union’s backing in the recent World Rugby chairman elections, with a promise to promote the national team to tier one.
And the decision now to elevate Japan’s status comes days after Beaumont was re-elected as chairman, having been in a tight race with Agustin Pichot for the top job.
In being promoted to tier-one status, Japan will be the eleventh member of the category. The other ten are those involved in the Six Nations – England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales – and in the Rugby Championship – Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
For Japan, tier-one status will mean more games against other tier-one teams and more weight when rugby unions vote on World Rugby matters. It could also lead to Japan receiving more World Rugby funds when budget money is distributed.
The definitions of tiers one and two are also set to be rebranded and will become known as Established Nations and Emerging Nations.
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