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Rugby - England to return to Japan for two tests in July

Rugby - England to return to Japan for two tests in July
England's rugby head team train ahead of their Rugby World Cup match against Tonga in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su -
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EDGAR SU(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – England will tour Japan in July 2020 for two tests, the first time they will play the Rugby World Cup hosts on their home soil, England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Friday.

Eddie Jones’ side, who finished runners-up to South Africa at the World Cup this month, will face Japan in Oita on July 4 and in Kobe on July 11.

However, England are likely to leave several of their first-choice players behind to ensure they stay within playing time guidelines.

“Japan were fantastic Rugby World Cup hosts and we feel humbled to have been a part of it,” Jones, a former Japan coach, said in a statement. “The England squad had a fantastic experience of the country  and we are excited to return in July next year.

“The Japan national team have shown again how good a side they are with their performances during the World Cup and I know they will provide a great test for us in July.”

England have played Japan twice before, beating them on both occasions, with the last match being a 35-15 win over the Brave Blossoms at Twickenham in November last year.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)

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