Rugby-Japan to play test against Ireland in July

(Reuters) - Japan will play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on July 3 following their clash with the British & Irish Lions on June 26, the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) said on Monday.

Jamie Joseph's Brave Blossoms will travel to Ireland after taking on the Lions at Murrayfield in Edinburgh. The fixture is part of a revised international rugby summer schedule brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan last met Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup when they stunned Andy Farrell's side 19-12 in the pool stage in Shizuoka.

"We're delighted to be playing test match rugby again after such a long time, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," national team director Yuichiro Fuji said in a statement on Monday.

"Both the Irish team and the Lions will be incredibly strong and provide a major challenge for us.

"While it is hugely disappointing that we cannot play in front of our Japanese fans during this test match window, we are truly grateful for the opportunity to play again and we will fight hard for our fans back home."

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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