'It's great for rugby' – Steve Hansen blown away by the rise of the Brave Blossoms

Source: 1News

The rise of Japan's Brave Blossoms will be nothing but a boost for world rugby, says All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, following the Rugby World Cup hosts' victory over Ireland.

Four years on from their astonishing victory over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup in England, Japan once again proved they deserve a seat at rugby's top table, with a 19-12 victory over tournament front runners Ireland.

That win almost certainly guarantees Japan a place in the tournament quarter-finals, even staring at the possibility of qualifying top of Pool A, on course to face South Africa in the next round.

Speaking to media yesterday, All Blacks coach Hansen was asked about what Japan's run of results mean for the state of the game in the land of the rising sun.

"The tournament's been pretty exciting," Hansen began.

"The Japanese game that you're talking about, you wouldn't get a better game of rugby. I thought they were outstanding in their performance.

"For the tournament, what a major boost for the home nation - who no one expected them to beat the number two ranked side in the world - and they've come out and took it to them right from the word go.

"They put them under extreme pressure, and in the end got the result they wanted to.

"You could tell from the crowd, 30 minutes after the game finished, they're still in the stands celebrating.

"It's great for rugby here, the little kids that want to play the game will get excited, and overall great for rugby."

Japan currently occupy top spot in Pool A, three points ahead of Ireland and four ahead of both Scotland and Samoa.

The Brave Blossoms next face Samoa in Toyota, before finishing pool play against Scotland in Yokohama, with one win all but certain to seal a quarter-final spot.