Tokyo - Japan
will take on Rugby World Cup holders New Zealand in a one-off home Test in
November next year, Japanese rugby officials said on Wednesday.
The match will be played on November 3, 2018 and will be the first
time the Brave Blossoms have face the All Blacks since 2013, when they
were thumped 54-6 in Tokyo.
Japan will host the World Cup a year later when they will share the
same pool as Ireland, Scotland and the third European team to qualify
for Pool A, likely to be Romania.
The Asian champions shed their erstwhile tag as World Cup whipping
boys at the 2015 tournament, where they recorded three victories under
current England boss Eddie Jones, including a stunning 34-32 win over
two-time champions South Africa.
Japan coach Jamie Joseph said at last week's World Cup draw in Kyoto
that he "felt like a small sardine amongst a bunch of tuna" alongside
the likes of Jones and Steve Hansen, the All Blacks coach.
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.
The All Blacks have won all five of their previous meetings against
Japan, most famously a record 145-17 mauling at the 1995 World Cup.