The Rise of the Brave Blossoms

The Brave Blossoms are no longer just that team who once shocked the Springboks.
Rugby World Cup 2019
Japan's supporters cheer for their team during the Rugby World Cup match between Japan and Ireland at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa in Fukuroi. Photo: EPA/JIJI

When Japan left the Springboks stunned at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, they had not won a game at the tournament since 1991.

Now, at their own tournament, they’ve added Ireland’s scalp to their growing list of Tier 1 nations.

The Brave Blossoms have surged up the World Rugby Rankings and they are on the verge of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals – another first.

While the Sunwolves might have been given the Super Rugby chop, the sport will almost certainly continue to flourish. It’s been years in the making. And it’s not always been easy.

Here’s a brief history of rugby’s history and growth in Japan.

A brief timeline of Japan’s most notable rugby moments

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