Finn Russell Rugby: Japan prays for new ‘miracle’ in Rugby World Cup knock-outs

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Finn Russell Japan's rugby players have captured the nation's imagination with their fairy-tale run at

Japan’s rugby players have captured the nation’s imagination with their fairy-tale run at the world cup AFP/William WEST

TOKYO: Millions of home fans will tune in on Sunday (Oct 20) as host team Japan bid to extend their Rugby World Cup fairy-tale in a historic quarter-final against South Africa.

The Brave Blossoms’ run has captured the Japanese imagination, with nearly 55 million watching their scintillating win over Scotland as they topped their pool, organisers said.

It represented a record for any rugby match in Japan, and outstripped viewing figures for the 2002 World Cup football final held in Yokohama, adjacent to Tokyo.

Now Japan are hoping they can add to their wins over Ireland and Scotland and topple the mighty Springboks – as they did in their “Miracle of Brighton” victory in 2015, one of rugby’s greatest shocks.

Sunday’s opening quarter-final features Six Nations champions Wales against Fran

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