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England set for two-match 2020 tour to Japan?

By Tom Vinicombe
England's Henry Slade and Japan's William Tupou chase the ball at Twickenham in 2018. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / Getty Images)

Regardless of what happens this weekend, England will be spending at least the next two weeks in Japan.

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A victory against New Zealand would see them playing in the final at Yokohama next Saturday. A loss would see them consigned to the 3rd/4th playoff in Tokyo a day earlier.

One way or another, the English side will have spent almost two months in Japan by the time the tournament comes to a close – but it sounds like they’re not sick of the country yet.

There has been no official word on the topic, but it appears that England will be returning to Japan next July to play a two-match series against the Brave Blossoms.

England Rugby Travel, the official travel agents for the RFU, have already commenced promoting the tour on their website.

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The two-match series will double the total number of fixtures that have taken part between the two sides to date.

In the 1987 World Cup, England cruised to a 60-7 victory over Japan in Sydney.

It took over 20 years for the nations to clash once again, with England hosting the Brave Blossoms at Twickenham and recording a 35-15 win.

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England’s schedule for the 2020 calendar year has now been all but confirmed.

The Six Nations will take place from early February to mid-March. England’s somewhat favourable schedule sees them play away games against Scotland, France and Italy whilst playing at home against Ireland and Wales.

In July, the Red Roses will travel to Japan but will likely have one more game added to the agenda – whether that’s in Japan or elsewhere is unknown. New Zealand and Australia both already have full schedules for the mid-year tests.

Finally, England will play host in November to New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and the Barbarians, with one further match to be confirmed against a tier-two nation.

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South Africa are the only tier-one side that England aren’t yet confirmed to be playing in 2020 but fans around the world would no doubt like to see England square off against a Pacific Island side too.

Whatever teams are yet to be confirmed, England’s coaching team will be preparing for a mammoth season next year.

Perhaps England are returning to Japan in 2020 so that they can check out some more of the local attractions?:

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