Japan and Fiji to join European rugby union tournament
newsonjapan.com -- Aug 03
Fiji and Japan will be among the teams lining up alongside the Six Nations in a hastily organized eight-team international competition that will be held this autumn.

The tournament was organized as a way to compensate for the affected European tour schedule after sports got suspended. The tournament is expected to offer the greatest rugby action in months, with punters at Betway88 happy about the prospects of wagering on the games.

According to BBC reports, the tournament will take over the end-of-year European tours by Southern hemisphere teams before the international rugby union can get a way forward. The competition will kick off on 14th November this year, barely two weeks after the completion of the postponed Six Nations tournament.

Unfortunately, South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia won’t be available for test plays, as they’ll be busy with the delayed Rugby Championship scheduled for October. That means Italy and Ireland will be playing six tests, which is double their normal autumn load.

England will be starting their campaign against the Barbarians on 25th October, though World Rugby has authorized a one-off extension on the set rules on releasing the players. In the surprise tournament, England is placed in the same group as Ireland, Wales and Fiji. The other pool features Scotland, France, Japan and Italy.

In each group, the teams will play against each other until the final weekend when every team will face off against the side corresponding to their position in the other group. That means rugby punters at Betway will have plenty of opportunities to wager and enjoy competitive rugby action.

Japan has a huge disadvantage, considering that they cancelled their league earlier in February and their next season doesn’t kick off till January next year. On the other side, England’s summer series was cancelled, though they were due to play Ireland and Scotland in November.

The tournament will be held for four weekends consecutively, with the last game staged on 5th December. No venue has been unveiled yet, though the schedule will be ratified next month. Nonetheless, several countries have been considered to host, including New Zealand, for their success in containing the pandemic in the country.

Georgia was also considered for hosting due to their efforts to reach the quarter-finals during the World Cup last year. However, Japan is considered as the greater commercial attraction as the unions are in dire need of revenue. That might come off as a disadvantage for Fiji, considering that a good number of their players are based in England.

There are no official announcements on whether the games will be staged behind closed doors, or fans will be allowed to attend. Currently, not many countries are allowing fans to attend games in stadiums, though France, Italy, Ireland and England expect fans to move back to watch games in stadiums by October. However, Wales aren’t expecting fans to be back in stadiums until next year. Additionally, the stadiums will only allow limited fans.

News source: newsonjapan.com
Sep 18
Two high school students suffered injuries after they were hit by an athletics hammer on the sports ground of their school in Takizawa, Iwate Prefecture, on Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Sep 16
Kei Nishikori picked up his first win in a year at the Italian Open on Monday, defeating two-time ATP Tour titlist Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) to reach the second round of the clay court tournament in Rome. (Japan Times)
Sep 14
Having being a pioneer in Technology, especially in Gaming, Japan’s gaming business has withered owing to stiff competition from Western Gaming Developers. (newsonjapan.com)
Sep 13
Japanese tennis star Osaka Naomi has won the women's singles title at the US Open. (NHK)
Sep 12
Yokozuna Hakuho and Kakuryu will both miss the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament starting this weekend after deciding to pull out Friday due to injury concerns. (Japan Times)
Sep 12
The Yomiuri Giants are running away with the Central League and are the clear-cut favorites to repeat as Central League champs. (newsonjapan.com)
Sep 11
Eighteen sumo wrestlers at the Tamanoi stable in Tokyo have been confirmed to have the coronavirus. (NHK)
Sep 10
Japan will consider raising the upper limit for the number of spectators at sports, concerts and other events to up to 20,000 from the current 5,000, as coronavirus cases have been moderating recently, a senior government official said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Sep 08
A senior official of the International Olympic Committee said in an interview with French media that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead next year regardless of the coronavirus situation. (NHK)
Sep 04
Sources say Yokozuna Grand Champion Hakuho had surgery on both knees last month. There are growing concerns about his participation in the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament, which will start on September 13. (NHK)
Sep 01
The Olympic flame for the postponed Tokyo Games will be put on public view in a Tokyo museum, starting on Tuesday. (NHK)
Aug 28
Video Games can date back as early as the sixties but has changed a lot since it's inception. One of the most interesting parts of Video Game history is that you can trace its history between the West and Japan as two divergent subcategories. (newsonjapan.com)
Aug 27
The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition has unveiled the official logo in Osaka where the event will be held. (NHK)
Aug 26
Nintendo Co. plans to debut an upgraded model of its Switch console next year along with a lineup of new games, people familiar with the matter said, ceding 2020’s holiday spotlight to rival devices from Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. (Japan Times)
Aug 25
Japanese driver Sato Takuma has clinched his second victory in the Indianapolis 500 motor race. He last took the title in 2017. (NHK)
Aug 25
Japan decided Monday to continue limiting the maximum number of spectators at professional sports, concerts and other events to 5,000 until the end of September, although the spread of the novel coronavirus has shown some signs of abating, government officials said Monday. (Japan Times)
Aug 21
Teenage shogi sensation Fujii Sota has become the youngest-ever holder of two major professional titles for the chess-like Japanese board game. (NHK)
Aug 20
Tokyo Olympic organizers have settled on preserving the torch relay schedule developed for 2020 to be used in next year's postponed games, officials with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Aug 17
Tenri University in Nara Prefecture said Monday it has confirmed 24 players in its rugby club have been infected with the coronavirus, leading to the suspension of team activities. (Japan Times)
Aug 17
Kei Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open runner-up, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and said he will pull out of the tuneup tournament at Flushing Meadows that starts next week. (Japan Today)