Japan captain Michael Leitch sounded a warning to the ‘Big 8’ countries in world rugby after the Brave Blossoms beat Scotland 28-21 to become the first Asian team to progress to the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
Japan finished their pool unbeaten after famous victories over Ireland and the Scots, with Leitch declaring “We are now shifting the goal posts”. The ‘Big 8’ are New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, England, Ireland, Wales, France and Scotland.
Jamie Joseph’s side will face the Springboks for a place in the semi-finals next weekend.
“This is great for Japanese rugby, not for Japanese rugby, rugby in Asia, Tier Two rugby. So, to firstly qualify for the quarter-finals, we are now shifting the goal posts.
“I mean, the key to our victory is our preparation, being aligned from the start of the week, the same consistent messages. So we will do that and we are not coming out next week to have a good game and lose, we are coming out to win.”
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