TOKYO – Winning the Pacific Nations Cup triumph has given Japan every confidence that they are on the right track to achieve their goal of reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time.
After big wins over Fiji and Tonga, Japan overpowered a dogged United States 34-20 in Suva on Saturday to win the title for the third time and earn a timely confidence boost six weeks out from hosting the World Cup.
Following a shortened Top League domestic rugby competition, coach Jamie Joseph has had all his players in camp for six months with the aim of peaking for the World Cup.
“I think it all came down to preparation,” Brave Blossoms captain Michael Leitch told reporters. “We've been together since February and all the hard work has paid off. I think we're on the right track (for the World Cup).”
With most national teams only coming together following strenuous domestic competitions, Japan believe they will be the best prepared side for the World Cup after their long period together in camp.