Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

All Blacks and Japan Rugby confirm 2018 Test

All Blacks and Japan Rugby confirm 2018 Test

The match will be played around November, in advance of the Rugby World Cup in Japan the following year.

Steve Hansen's side will meet the Brave Blossoms at a yet-to-be-decided venue on November 3 before heading to Europe for their end of season tour, the world champions said in a statement.

They also met in the 2011 tournament in New Zealand, where the All Blacks won 83-7, before they recorded a 54-6 victory in Tokyo in 2013.

New Zealand coach Hansen said the Japan game would help with their preparations for the global showpiece.

Tew told political editor Barry Soper that they won't see the match as a foregone conclusion given the Japanese beat South Africa in the last Cup.

Hansen said the three-time world champions would look to play games in Japan as part of their build-up to the 2019 competition, the first to take place in Asia.

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Ireland have been drawn in Pool A with the World Cup hosts.

Japan rugby captain Michael Leitch said he will leave New Zealand's Waikato Chiefs after this season with an eye toward joining Japanese side Sunwolves, according to an interview published on Tuesday.

"The Test will not only provide a great opportunity to prepare for the 2018 end of year tour, it also gives the team first-hand experience of playing in Japan less than a year out from the tournament".

"We're confident of putting in a determined performance against the All Blacks".

"Interest in rugby in Japan is on a high and will only build as we get closer to Rugby World Cup 2019", he said.

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