Japan moves to 9th in world Rugby rankings after winning PNC

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Japan climbed two spots in the world rankings to ninth according to World Rugby’s announcement on Monday, two days after clinching the Pacific Nations Cup with a 34-20 victory over the United States.

With a little over a month to go until the 2019 Rugby World Cup kicks off across Japan, the Brave Blossoms surpassed No. 11 Argentina and No. 10 Fiji to equal their highest ever rank.

The top three teams in the world — New Zealand, Wales and Ireland — retained their respective positions.

Japan, ranked ninth for the first time since February 2016, began the Pacific Nations Cup with a 34-21 win over Fiji late last month.

The Brave Blossoms defeated Tonga 41-7 on Aug. 3 before wrapping up with a win over the United States in Fiji and claiming their third Pacific Nations Cup title.

Japan take on No. 5 South Africa on Sept. 6 in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, in their final warm-up match before the World Cup starts on Sept. 20.

KYODO NEWS

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