Japan and Russia will face off in an IRB approved international at Parc Eirias in North Wales on Friday, November 15, the Welsh Rugby Union confirmed on Monday.
The fixture has been brought about through close liaison with, and support from, Conwy County Borough Council and the Welsh Government and is set to be a major boost to rugby in the area, as well as the local economy.
Together Conwy County Borough Council, the Welsh Government and the WRU have developed Eirias to be a top class sports facility for North Wales.
The 5,500 capacity Eirias also regularly hosts Wales U20 international matches and the WRU is keen to encourage the appetite for rugby that has been created in the region after the successes of home club side RGC 1404 in achieving promotion to the SWALEC Championship last season.
“Last year we welcomed close to 20,000 fans to watch international rugby at Parc Eirias and this year we will see a further 20,000; the economic impact in terms of benefits for local businesses will certainly be welcome,” said First Minister Carwyn Jones said,.
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said: “It is with great pleasure that we will be welcoming Japan back to Wales this November after taking our touring side to their shores this summer.
“It will also not go un-noticed in Eirias that Japan pulled off an historic victory over Wales during the second Test of the tour and the fans will be looking forward to seeing what they have to offer up close.
“The presence of the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart in Japan was very significant. The business relationship between our two countries is so important.
“Moreover the Minister’s visit to Moscow for the IRB RWC 7′s was also crucial to developing relations between Wales and Russia.
“And so this fixture is critical for rugby and our relationship with these two great nations. We are certain the rugby public of North Wales will fully support this initiative and give the visiting teams a great welcome.”
These matches are in addition to the games between Tier 1 and Tier 2/3 nations within the 2012-2019 international tours and test schedule which has increased opportunities for emerging Rugby powers to play the world’s best teams in June and November.
The IRB’s Head of Competitions and Performance Mark Egan added: “We are delighted to return again to Eirias Parc this November with an IRB International Rugby Series fixture. The facilities at the venue are outstanding and worthy of hosting this important fixture between two of our important Strategic Investment Unions, Japan and Russia. I have no doubt that the local Rugby fans will come out and support the fixture and the teams with the same enthusiasm as they did last year.”