Gloucester have announced that they will face Japan at Kingsholm on November 12 as part of the Cherry Blossoms' preparations to qualify for the World Cup.
With Rugby World Cup 2015 just two years away, and Japan in pole position to qualify as Asia 1 and with them set to play two pool stage matches in Gloucester, it gives the Cherry and Whites and the Cherry Blossoms a chance to lock horns and, for the Japan squad, an opportunity to get to know Kingsholm.
Japan, who recently made history by beating Wales in a Test match for the first time, are an exciting and flourishing rugby nation and will be the latest international side to play at Kingsholm following in the footsteps of Australia, Fiji, Ireland and Samoa in recent years.
Ranked 15th in the world, and coached by Eddie Jones, Japan will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and have been involved in every tournament since it began in 1987.
Gloucester Rugby CEO Stephen Vaughan spoke today of his delight of welcoming Japan to Kingsholm, and of how exciting it is to include them in the first team calendar.
"The club is thrilled that Japan will be playing at Kingsholm," he said.
"The game will add to the stadium's credentials for staging big matches featuring international sides.
"Japan are developing a proud rugby heritage with over 125,000 registered players. Their recent success over Wales shows the talent that they possess and how our squad will be challenged.
"We know that Gloucester supporters love to watch international talent grace the Kingsholm turf and, with Gloucester a likely destination on Japan's World Cup 2015 schedule, we hope that the Cherry Blossoms will become an adopted nation in the city."
Vaughan also confirmed that tickets for the match will be competitively priced in the hope that there will a big crowd on the night.
"It will be an all pay game but we'd love as many Gloucester fans as possible to be there on the night," he added.