The Japan Rugby Football Union has withdrawn its national side from the forthcoming eight-team Test tournament involving the European Six Nations teams and Fiji later this year.
The tournament, with the teams divided into two pools, is set to start on 14 November following the conclusion of this season’s delayed Six Nations. New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina were not available to participate in the competition, as they will be playing the delayed Rugby Championship in October.
However, the eight-team tournament has now suffered a major setback with news emerging that the JPFU has opted against sending its Test team to compete in the tournament.
According to a report on a reputable Japanese news website, complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic prompted the JRFU’s decision.
With the Japanese government restricting the entry of foreign passport holders amid the pandemic, members of the Brave Blossoms coaching staff have been kept out of the country, making it difficult to hold a domestic camp in preparation for the tournament.
The JRFU will look at other activities for the national team later this year, including the possibility of a Test match.
The Brave Blossoms have not played a Test since their World Cup quarter-final clash with the Springboks last year.
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