Japan tie down World Cup qualification
May 25, 2014
Japan's Yoshikazu Fujita flies over for a try © Getty Images
Japan secured qualification for the 2015 World Cup and the Asian Five Nations crown after beating Hong Kong 49-8 in Tokyo.
The victory continues the champions' seven-year unbeaten run in the Asian tournament, which also serves as a qualification route for teams aiming for the World Cup.
Yoshikazu Fujita scored a hat-trick for the home side, who ran in a total of eight tries in a dominant display at the National Stadium. Despite the thrashing, Hong Kong finish second in the Five Nations and will go on to face Uruguay in the first round of the World Cup repechage.
Japan, who will host the 2019 World Cup, now join South Africa, Samoa, Scotland and the United States in Pool B of next year's tournament in England.
"It was a tough old game but we have achieved our first goal, to qualify for the World Cup, which is fantastic," said Japan head coach Eddie Jones. "Now the next target is to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup, so everything we do from now on is about making sure we are in a position to reach the quarter-finals."
Japan have qualified for the past seven World Cups but have only won once in the history of the tournament - the victory coming in a 52-8 demolition of Zimbabwe.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Leinster's Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Stadium has received the green light for a radical €20 million (£15million) redevelopment.
Louis van Gaal has confirmed Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick will be ruled out for up to a month after rupturing a muscle
Former Cardiff, Wales and British & Irish Lions prop Howard Norris has died aged 80 in a nursing home in Cardiff.
Kimi Raikkonen is encouraged by the looks of the new Ferrari and is confident the team has learned its lessons from last year
Sebastian Vettel has warned against expecting too much from Ferrari this year but is hoping his new team will close the gap to the front over the course of the season