Chile, the lowest-ranked side to qualify the 2023 tournament, make their Rugby World Cup debut against a Japan side that sit eight places above them in World Rugby's rankings.

The South Americans have been knocking on the door of the tournament for some time, but have fallen in the final qualifying rounds for every Rugby World Cup since 2007 - the last time France were hosts.

FIXTURE: Japan v Chile

GROUND: Stadium de Toulouse (33,103)

KICK-OFF: 13:00 local time (GMT+2)


This is the first time the two sides have met in rugby internationals, adding an extra frisson of the unknown to the match. Japan, with 33 Rugby World Cup matches to their name - including the ‘Miracle of Brighton’ and a run to the quarter-finals in 2019 - will inevitably start as strong favourites. 

But Chile - who ended Canada’s proud record of attending every Rugby World Cup en route to this year’s tournament before beating USA in the Americas 2 play-off to qualify for France - will want to put on a good show.


This is the first time the two sides have met. But remember Japan's 'Miracle in Brighton', and Chile's two comeback wins in the qualifying phase against Canada and then USA. These are two sides that just don't know they're beaten.


Japan may be favourites for the win in Toulouse, but the main interest for neutral fans will be how well Chile perform on their first-ever appearance at a Rugby World Cup. As we've already pointed out, they beat more than one veteran Rugby World Cup side on their way to France, and should not be treated lightly.


Michael Leitch v Martín Sigren. The personal contest between Japan’s veteran flanker - a player who has a statue in his honour in Tokyo - and Chile’s remarkable 27-year-old captain will be fascinating to watch. 


Japan hold an unwanted Rugby World Cup record. Their 145-17 loss against New Zealand at the 1995 tournament in South Africa is both the biggest defeat, and the highest number of points any side conceded, in Rugby World Cup history.


Nic Berry (Australia). Before taking up the whistle, Berry was a scrum half with Queensland Reds, Racing Métro (as they were then known) and London Wasps. 


JAPAN Semisi Masirewa; Kotaro Matsushima, Dylan Riley, Ryoto Nakamura, Jone Naikabula; Rikiya Matsuda, Yutaka Nagare; Keita Inagaki, Atsushi Sakate, Jiwon Gu; Jack Cornelsen, Amato Fakatava; Michael Leitch, Kanji Shimokawa, Kazuki Himeno (captain) 

Replacements: Shota Horie, Craig Millar, Asaeli Ai Valu, Warner Dearns, Shota Fukui, Naoto Saito, Tomoki Osada, Lomano Lemeki

CHILE Inaki Ayarza; Santiago Videla, Domingo Saavedra, Matias Garafulic, Franco Velarde; Rodrigo Fernandez, Marcelo Torrealba; Javier Carrasco, Diego Escobar, Matias Dittus; Clemente Saavedra, Javier Eissmann; Martín Sigren (captain), Raimundo Martínez, Alfonso Escobar

Replacements: Augusto Bohme, Salvador Lues, Inaki Gurruchaga, Pablo Huete, Santiago Pedrero, Ignacio Silva, Lukas Carvallo, José Ignacio Larenas