All Blacks learning Japanese ahead of 2019 RWC

2018-02-05 13:04
Steve Hansen (Gallo)

Cape Town - New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has taken an unusual step as he looks to give the All Blacks every chance of success at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

According to the Stuff website, Hansen is currently on a planning visit to Japan, where it was confirmed that Yokohama's Nissan Stadium would host this year's third Bledisloe Cup Test on October 27.

With the All Blacks also playing Japan the following weekend at Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, the clash against the Wallabies gives Hansen's squad a chance to experience another key World Cup venue ahead of their quest for three-straight global titles.

The All Blacks play their opening match of the 2019 tournament against South Africa in Yokohama and their match against an African qualifier in Tokyo.

But a big part of their preparation includes being comfortable with the Japanese culture - and that includes learning the language.

"We're busy at home studying to see if we can learn some of it," Hansen told local reporters. "For some it's easy, for others it's difficult.

?"Clearly we want to come and win it. But we also want to enjoy our time here in Japan and get to understand the Japanese people and spend some time with them, so it's very much about playing some good rugby, some winning rugby, and enjoying the culture of the country."

Read more on:    all blacks  |  rwc 2019  |  rugby

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