All Blacks: Clash with Japan confirmed for Tokyo in October

Adam Kyriacou

The All Blacks will face Japan in Tokyo on Saturday, October 29 in the first match of their northern hemisphere end-of-year tour later this year.

Playing for the newly created Lipovitan-D Challenge Cup, New Zealand take on the Brave Blossoms before heading to the United Kingdom in November.

Whilst in Europe, the All Blacks will face off against Wales, Scotland and England, with those internationals set to take place on November 6, 14 and 19.

It will be the seventh time that New Zealand have played against Japan and the first Test between the two countries since they met in Tokyo back in 2018.

Tough Test in Tokyo

“Rugby in Japan has grown its profile in recent years and that’s been reflected in the results of the national team, so the All Blacks will expect a tough Test in Tokyo,” New Zealand Rugby (NZR) CEO Mark Robinson told the All Blacks’ official website.

“We are looking forward to building on our relationship with Japan Rugby and our partner Taisho Pharmaceutical in October. Taisho’s support for this fixture has been key and I have no doubt it will be a great occasion seeing the two teams play at the National Stadium.”

Brave Blossoms head coach Jamie Joseph said: “Today’s announcement is tremendous news that will be welcomed by our fans in Japan and around the world. We’re very much looking forward to hosting the All Blacks in Tokyo and playing in front of our home fans.

“We are excited to be now facing New Zealand at home, and then England and France on our European tour, three teams that will be in line to lift the Webb Ellis Cup next year in Paris. This is the level of competition that we need to be testing ourselves against, to strengthen our squad ahead of next year’s World Cup.”

The kick-off for the match will be announced in due course, with New Zealand currently preparing for their Rugby Championship clash with South Africa.

New Zealand’s end-of-year fixtures

New Zealand v Japan – Saturday, October 29 in Tokyo
New Zealand v Wales – Sunday, November 6 in Cardiff
New Zealand v Scotland – Monday, November 14 in Edinburgh
New Zealand v England – Saturday, November 19 in Twickenham

READ MORE: All Blacks: Richie Mo’unga starts ahead of Beauden Barrett for second Springboks Test