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Scotland preparing for Autumn Internationals

Scotland preparing for Autumn Internationals

Scotland Women are preparing for their Autumn International schedule, an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming World Cup repechage tournament next year.

They face Japan in a single Autumn international on 14 November at the Dam Health Stadium, after a mixed Six Nations in 2021, losing to both Italy and England, but defeating Wales to finish fifth.

Japan are a side ranked 12th in the world, three places lower than the Scots, which will represent a challenge as Scotland look to continue that momentum they have following their victory over Ireland in a European qualifying tournament.

They finished second in that group, behind Italy, meaning they will go into the repechage tournament, alongside Samoa, Colombia and an as of yet unknown Asian side to battle for the final spot at the World Cup in New Zealand in a year’s time.

Bryan Easson was delighted by the performance of his side in that last gasp defeat over Ireland, and he will be hoping for more of the same against Japan this November, in a game that will act as a warm-up for the repechage tournament.

Scotland, who also recorded a victory against Spain in the European Qualifying tournament in Italy, will face Japan for only the second time this November.

It is also the first time in two years that fans will present to watch Scotland play, in an intriguing match-up in Edinburgh, with the last time being against Japan in 2019.

That match finished with a narrow 24-20 defeat, and since then as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Scotland have been unable to have fans at home matches.

9th is also the highest Scotland have been ranked in the World rankings, something which suggests the improvements are in place.

Easson said: “We have an exciting few months ahead with the final qualifying tournament for the 2022 Rugby World Cup in January.

“I am delighted that we will be playing Japan in front of a home crowd because the support that we have had from our supporters over the last 18 months has been fantastic, and the whole squad can’t wait to run out in front of a home crowd in November.

“Japan gave us a great match in 2019, and I am sure that both teams will demonstrate some fantastic rugby for the supporters and that this match will give the squad some valuable experience ahead of the 2022 Rugby World Cup Qualifying Repechage.”

Japan, who also face Wales and Ireland this Autumn, have not played a test match since that victory at Scotstoun two years ago, so they will be raring to go at the Dam Health Stadium in November.

The Sakura Fifteen have already qualified for the World Cup next year, which shows the challenge that awaits Scotland in November.

They will join USA, Canada and Italy in Pool B in New Zealand next year but will be hoping they can repeat their heroics from two years ago and take the scalp of Scotland.