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Japan back in Rugby World Cup spotlight in game vs Ireland

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is back in the spotlight at the Rugby World Cup after kicking off with a win over Russia in the tournament's opening game.

The mission in Shizuoka on Saturday goes up a level, though, with Jamie Joseph's Japan lineup facing an Ireland squad that entered the World Cup with the No. 1 ranking and beat Six Nations rival Scotland 27-3.

Japan's target at the first Rugby World Cup in Asia is to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time. That ambition will be tested fully against a strong Irish team that is favored to top Pool A.

Also, Argentina meets Tonga in Osaka in its first game since an opening loss to France in Pool C, and South Africa is aiming to rebound from its opening loss to the defending champion All Blacks when it takes on Namibia at Toyota.

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More AP Rugby World Cup: https://www.apnews.com/RugbyWorldCup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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