The Japan Rugby Football Union (JFRU) and New Zealand Rugby (NZR) today announced that the All Blacks XV will play two matches in Japan this July against the Japan XV in Tokyo and the Brave Blossoms, Japan’s national team, in Kumamoto.
The teams, which are sponsored by Taisho Pharmaceutical, will face off for the 2023 Lipovitan-D Challenge Cup beginning on Saturday, July 8 at Tokyo’s famed Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium and continuing on Saturday, July 15 at Kumamoto’s Egao Kenko Stadium.
The All Blacks XV 2023 Lipovitan-D Challenge Cup schedule is:
All Blacks vs Japan XV, Saturday 8 July, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, Tokyo
All Blacks v Japan, Saturday 15 July, Kumamoto
The All Blacks XV would benefit greatly from the two matches, according to NZR General Manager of Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum, since they would give them the chance to fight on a world platform against a top-notch international foe.
“Securing international matches of this caliber is crucial to the development of our next tier of talent and also provides valuable international experience for a wider base of players in a Rugby World Cup year,” the All Blacks XV is a crucial development pathway to the All Blacks.
“We’re excited for the team to travel to Japan and participate in two very contested matches of the highest caliber. It will expose our group to various life situations and playing philosophies, which will only advance their development.
The All Blacks XV will make a comeback in 2023, beginning with a two-game series in Japan in July.
The squad will play the Japan XV in Tokyo on July 8 before playing the Japanese national team, the Brave Blossoms, in Kumamoto on July 15. This follows the team’s Northern Hemisphere trip, during which they defeated Ireland A but lost to a Barbarians team at the end of 2022. The Lipovitan-D Challenge Cup will be the object of the contest.
The two matches will give the All Blacks XV a great opportunity to compete on a worldwide platform against a caliber international foe, according to New Zealand Rugby general manager of professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum.