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Canada to host Japan in June

23rd January 2014 11:58

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Nathan Hirayama for Canada

To face Japan: Canada

Canada have announced the return of Test rugby to their West Coast, with Japan taking them on at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, on June 7.

The full IRB test match will be the first game of the 2014 Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) where Canada will take on both Japan and the USA this June.

Canada meet Japan for the first time on home turf since 2000 when they clashed in Ontario, with the upcoming match being held in British Columbia.

"Rugby Canada's senior management have worked long and hard at the highest levels to secure the approval of a playing venue for IRB tests in the Vancouver area, and all are hugely excited that the passionate rugby community on Canada's West Coast will be given the chance to support their national team in action this coming June," read a statement released on Wednesday.

Canada and London Irish back-row Jebb Sinclair knows the intense rivalry that exists between Canada and Japan well; the two nations fought each other to a draw at the last two Rugby World Cups. The powerful Sinclair though is looking forward to the opportunity to tackle the ever-improving Japanese on home soil.

"Well, Japan has had our number over the last four or five tests," he said.

"We have tied them twice at the last two World Cups. In 2011, we had to play some our best rugby in the last 15 minutes or so to come back to tie them. Sadly though, they've beat us twice as well. I'm looking forward to a long-awaited return fixture.

"With the time change and travel, Japan is a tough place to go and win and we haven't played particularly well when we've gone there. I wasn't part of the team that went to Japan last summer, but that loss cost us the Pacific Nations Cup title, so it was a tough pill to swallow.

"We've been a very different beast when playing in Canada and it'll be exciting to get back to the Vancouver area and play a game on the West Coast. There's been quite a rivalry building over the years with Japan, so it'll be good to get our first win against them in a while on home soil."

The match precedes Canada's clash with Scotland at BMO Field, Toronto on June 14.

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5Japan42