Japan’s national rugby team to be certified Tier 1

TOKYO — World Rugby, the sport’s governing body, has decided to certify Japan as a Tier 1 country, making it the first Asian nation to ascend to the sport’s top echelon, Nikkei has learned.

The decision comes days after Sir Bill Beaumont was reelected as World Rugby’s chairman. Beaumont was in a tight race to keep his job against Agustin Pichot, and according to sources, he won Japan Rugby Football Union’s backing with a promise to promote the national team to Tier 1.

It marks the first time for Tier 1, currently made up of 10 mostly European countries, to

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