Japan made the quarter-finals as hosts in 2019 and having gone close to doing the same four years earlier on the back of beating South Africa, they will feel their Rugby World Cup story is trending in the right direction.

The Brave Blossoms begin their campaign against debutants Chile, who have finally made it to the global showpiece after 24 years of trying.

They have shown incredible spirit to make it this far and will likely play with plenty of endeavour at noon on Sunday Sept 10th, in Toulouse.

The Condors have a few decent forwards and some spark behind the pack but may struggle against a Japanese team who will be looking to lay down a marker in their bid to qualify from Pool D.

Japan vs Chile Betting Tips

Japan -28.5 @ 6/5
Kotaro Matsushima and Jone Naikabula both anytime try scorers @ 6/4

Team news

Kanji Shimokawa and Amato Fakatava were late call-ups for Japan but both start, while Rikiya Matsuda starts at fly-half and Kotaro Matsushima is selected on the right wing.

Kazuki Himeno will captain the team from number eight, while Martin Sigren will lead Chile from the blindside, with Raimundo Martinez and Alfonso Escobar joining him in the back row.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Torrealba and Rodrigo Fernandez are paired in the half-backs.

Japan -28.5 @ 6/5

It will be an emotional afternoon in Toulouse for the Chileans and that should inspire a strong start.

However, while Japan may not have made the progress expected of them over the last four years, their domestic league has continued to improve and that professionalism runs through their squad.

Japan’s players also have extra motivation to perform and ensure they are selected for the matches against England, Samoa and Argentina.

There is a handicap set at -28.5 and there is every chance they can eclipse that mark, with a

bonus-point victory almost a formality.

Kotaro Matsushima and Jone Naikabula both anytime try scorers @ 6/4

Matsushima was one of the stars of Japan’s campaign four years ago, scoring a hat-trick in the opening match in Russia.

He has subsequently spent time playing in France at Clermont but is back in Japan with Tokyo Sungoliath and it is interesting to see him back on the wing.

Jamie Joseph has often used Matsushima at full-back in recent years to give him more opportunities in attack but he is back out wide for this match in Toulouse.

Expect him to get over the line and it should be a similar story for the man on the left wing, Jone Naikabula.

A former Sevens star, he debuted in the Pacific Nations Cup against Samoa in July and subsequently scored tries against Tonga and Fiji.

Both are sure to get chances on Sunday and look likely to get on the scoresheet.

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