The Breakdown | Heavyweights ensure World Cup will garner Japan only fleeting prestige
With plans for a Nations League stalling and self-interest rife, hope that smaller nations can trouble the elite is fading fast
Rugby union is turning Japanese, but not for long. Once the World Cup is presented in Yokohama on 2 November and the bunting is swept up the hosts, like the other tier-two and -three nations making up the numbers, will slip back into relative obscurity for the next four years.
Some will emerge briefly for a friendly against a largely second-string team from the Six Nations or Rugby Championship, but otherwise they will wallow in the lowlands of barely reported tournaments, no closer to clenching the World Cup than when the tournament was first staged 32 years ago.Continue reading...