Japan to host 2012 Pacific Nations Cup

Defending champions Japan will host five of six matches in the 2012 Pacific Nations Cup in June to boost their preparations to stage the 2019 World Cup, according to the International Rugby Board.

The tournament, which was inaugurated in 2006, will bring together Japan, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, the IRB said in a news release.

The Pacific Nations Cup had been scheduled to be played in Japan for the first time last year but five of its six matches were moved to Fiji after a massive earthquake and tsunami ravaged the country’s northeast.

However Japan won the cup for the first time after clinching a fourth straight Asian Five Nations title in 2011.

The schedule:

June 5: Samoa v Tonga, Fiji v Japan in Nagoya, Japan

June 10: Fiji v Samoa, Japan v Tonga in Tokyo, Japan

June 17: Samoa v Japan in Tokyo, Japan

June 23: Fiji v Tonga in Lautoka, Fiji

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