26 May 2014

Japan win Asian Five Nations, qualify for World Cup

7:00 am on 26 May 2014

Japan qualified for the 2015 rugby World Cup by thrashing Hong Kong 49-8 in Tokyo, claiming a seventh Asian Five Nations title in the process with their 28th consecutive bonus point win.

Japan's victory means they continue a proud record of appearing in every World Cup to date and they will join South Africa, Samoa, Scotland and the United States in Pool B of the 20-team tournament that will be hosted by England next year.

Hong Kong can still join them despite the loss after they finished second in the standings, providing they come through the four-team repechage.

They will face Uruguay in the semis and, if they win that, either Russia or an African team in the final for the last place in Pool A alongside the hosts, Wales, Australia and either Fiji or the Cook Islands.

Japan have won all 28 matches in the Asian Five Nations since its inception in 2008 but coach Eddie Jones, previously in charge of Australia, will be aiming to lead the 'Brave Blossoms' to a first win at a World Cup since 1991.