April 19 - Japan have booked their spot in the 2015 International Rugby Board (IRB) Junior World Championship in Italy after being crowned champions of its sister tournament, the Junior World Rugby Trophy.
The team had fallen short at this stage on three previous occasions, between 2010 and 2012, but it proved to be fourth time lucky for the team as they scored four tries en route to a spot among the world's top under 20 teams in next year's Junior World Championship.
It will be the first time Japan have competed in the flagship tournament since they dropped out in 2009.
"This is a very important victory for our country," said Japanese coach Keisuke Sawaki.
"This is the next generation of players, the future of Japan rugby and I'm very proud of the boys.
"As a nation we must now put more focus on this squad as we look ahead to the 2019 Rugby World Cup which will be hosted in Japan."
Japan began the eight-team tournament with a 33-28 loss to Uruguay but bounced back strongly, winning the rest of their matches to march imperiously into the final, where Tonga were no match for them.
"In a way, looking back, it was good to lose to Uruguay in that first game for it focused our team on the areas we needed to improve on, and we have addressed those early issues successfully," Sawaki added.
The third-place place off was a battle of the Americas and former Junior World Trophy champions as the United States just held on to edge out Uruguay 26-25.
"It got a little bit rough but I guess this is all part of the development of a young team," said US coach Billy Millard.
"It was a tough game, Uruguay is a class team and we did well to finish third in this tournament."
The fifth-place play off was not such a close affair as Georgia comfortably beat Namibia 46-17, while in the opening match of the final day Canada came from behind to beat Hong Kong 33-30 and secure seventh place.
Hong Kong qualified for the eight-team competition as hosts but have now set their sights on next year's event with Asian champions Japan being promoted to play in the top-tier Junior World Championship.
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December 2013: Pools and schedule released for IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014