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Sat, 9 January 2016

Japans Brave Blossoms to Play in Singapore Sevens in April 2016

Fans of Japans Brave Blossoms can look forward to watching the Asian rugby sevens champion in action during the Singapore leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens in April, with Japan officially named as the wild-card team in the 16-nation tournament.

The reigning Asian Games champions, who secured an automatic berth for the 2016 Rio Olympics by winning the Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier in Hong Kong in November, join the 15 core teams - Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Kenya, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and Wales - on the World Rugby Sevens circuit in Singapore on 16 and 17April.

The Sevens World Series is the world's top tournament for sevens sides in terms of speed, power, skill, tactics and game management, said head coach Tomohiro Segawa in Tokyo. Argentina was the runner-up at last months Capetown Sevens and Kenya finished among the top four, so we want to qualify for the Cup and our target is a top four finish in Singapore.

In the opening Dubai Sevens last month, United States clinched a monumental first World Rugby Sevens series win over New Zealand in the group stage and progressed to the quarterfinals where they dumped defending Dubai Sevens champions South Africa 21-19 out of the tournament. The Eagles then stunned the All Blacks Sevens 31-12 in the bronze play-off in Dubai.

More upsets were recorded a week later at the Capetown Sevens as Argentina beat 12-time World Rugby Sevens Series champions New Zealand 22-19 in the quarterfinals and edged out Kenya 24-22 in a thrilling semi-final to qualify for their first World Rugby Sevens series final.

Rugby fans will no doubt remember Japans exploits in the 15s game at last years Rugby World Cup in England where they lit up the tournament with three sensational wins including the heart-stopping last-minute 34-32 upset of South Africa.

Among the Japanese World Cup heroes that has been drafted to the sevens team is winger Yoshikazu Fujita who scored a memorable try in the 28-18 win over the United States in Japan's last group game in England.

Tomohiro Segawa said, Following the success of our 15s side at the Rugby World Cup, now it's our turn to to deliver a message how good Japan rugby is to the world. We will play our sevens rugby with pride, so that all Japanese who live overseas can be proud of us.

Fans hoping to cheer on Japan against the likes of defending series champion Fiji and New Zealand led by World Cup hero Sonny Bill Williams should buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Season passes range from Sin$ 2 to Sin$ 150 Fans can expect two days of world-class rugby and spectacular entertainment under the worlds biggest dome.

Parents who want to bring their children to enjoy kid-friendly activities and rugby entertainment in and outside the stadium can consider the weekend family package of Sin$ 405 which admits two adults and two children.

Being Asias only representative in the World Sevens Series, Japan will definitely enjoy the support of many rugby fans and the Japanese expatriate community in Singapore, said Sam Chan, General Manager of Rugby Singapore. We also hope Japanese supporters across Asia will visit Singapore to support their rugby team. As host of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics, I believe Japan will want to impress the world with their on-field performances.

See: Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong and also (from 2015): Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong Kong - Page 1 of 11, Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015 - Page 1 of 7 and Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015 - Page 1 of 9.

See other recent news regarding: Lions, British & Irish Lions, Rugby, Sevens, HSBC, Japan, Singapore

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