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Japan to play classic All Blacks

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    Japan to play classic All Blacks

    Japan to play Classic All Blacks

    Japan will play two matches against a "Classic All Blacks" side including Jonah Lomu, Andrew Mehrtens, Carlos Spencer and Justin Marshall in May.

    The two sides will meet in Kobe on 9 May and Tokyo three days later.

    Japan will use the matches to prepare for the Pacific Six Nations tournament and the World Cup.

    "We need games like this to give us confidence," said Japan coach John Kirwan, a former All Blacks great. "It's very important that we compete."

    Kirwan added that the two games would be significant for Japan's hopes of hosting the 2015 World Cup.

    "We have to demonstrate to the world that we are serious about being a world player," he said. "I want to see full stadiums and everyone dressed in red."

    Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale