The Japan Under-19s will play four matches in Ireland this month as part of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan. The Japanese side will embark on a tour of Ireland, playing against U-19 sides in Munster, Ulster and Connacht before meeting the Ireland U-19s at Donnybrook on Saturday, March 25.
’60’ represents a significant anniversary in Japan, symbolising the completion of one life cycle and the start of another.
In addition to various diplomatic, political and trade meetings, there are some significant rugby milestones that will mark the relationship.
Earlier this week, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, met with the Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida as part of a visit to Japan. To mark the trip, they exchanged rugby jerseys emblazoned with the number ’60’ and discussed Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
Japan will of course host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 so the Ireland squad’s two matches there in June will provide an excellent opportunity for coaches, players and supporters to get to know our hosts.
Japan Under-19s’ Ireland Tour 2017 (Ireland/Japan Commemorative Tour):
Munster U-19s v Japan U-19s, Irish Independent Park, Wednesday, March 15, 6pm
Connacht U-19s v Japan U-19s, the Sportsground, Sunday, March 19, 2pm
Ulster U-19s v Japan U-19s, CIYMS RFC, Wednesday, March 22, 6pm
Ireland U-19s v Japan U-19s, Donnybrook Stadium, Saturday March 25, 12.15pm