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Tuesday, 20th September 2011
In Japan Sports News,

Japan aim to be 'most improved'

The Japanese rugby team is aiming to become the most improved side ahead of hosting the World Cup in 2019.

Team coach John Kirwan, a former All Blacks player, also hopes to end the side's victory drought and top its 52-8 win over Zimbabwe in 1991.

Kirwan said: "We've had a goal for the last two years to win two games at the World Cup and we would like to be the most improved. Our World Cup starts now," the AFP quoted.

Despite New Zealand thrashing Asia's top-ranked team 83-7 last Friday, Japan is broaching tomorrow's clash against Tonga with determination.

James Arlidge, fly half, said: "We've been planning for this, so for us confidence is really high, we know we have to have a great game."

He added that the "boys" were relaxed and confident, although they were nervous too.

Kirwan has decided to approach tomorrow's fixture with a similar team he used for the side's meet with France in their opening match.

It is the first time Tonga and Japan have met in a Rugby World Cup game.

Posted by Mark Smith