The Japan team has arrived in England and been welcomed at the Brighton Dome.
Japan has a tough opening in the tournament, facing South Africa on Sept. 19 at the Brighton Community Stadium. Japan and the USA Eagles meet on October 11 in Gloucester, the last game in pool play for both. Don’t want to jinx either of them, but I’d bet one or both will be trying to dodge a 0-4 record for World Cup play.
The rest of Pool B will present hefty challenges to both Japan and the United States: South Africa, Scotland and Samoa.
The U.S. team plays Samoa on Sunday, Sept. 20; Scotland on Sept. 27; South Africa on Oct. 7 and finishes with Japan on Oct. 11.
Got word on Facebook from USA forwards coach Justin Fitzpatrick that the team was in the air (in O’Hare in Chicago, actually) and headed this way.
From the England Rugby 2015 news release about the welcome ceremony for Japan, there is no mention of the team performing Kabuki theater or anything else. Maybe the pressure is off the U.S. to perform song and dance in response to “World in Union” on Sunday. Hope the team gets over jet lag faster than we did or they may be best suited to performing “Leave me, loathsome light” from Handel’s opera Semele.