17 May 2017

All Blacks set to announce Japan test

8:01 am on 17 May 2017

The All Blacks are likely to play a test match in Japan next year ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with the game set to be announced as early as today.

The All Blacks playing Japan in Tokyo in 2013.

The All Blacks playing Japan in Tokyo in 2013. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A major announcement is expected from The New Zealand and Japanese Rugby Unions.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew is currently in Japan as part of a trade delegation headed by the Prime Minister Bill English, who says he's keen to get the world champion All Blacks to play in Japan before the 2019 World Cup.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said at last week's World Cup draw that a match against Japan "wouldn't be a bad idea".

The All Blacks could play Japan in the World Cup quarter-finals in 2019.

The last time the All Blacks played a Test match against Japan was at the start of the end of year tour in 2013, winning 54-6 in Tokyo.

New Zealand also played the Wallabies in Japan in 2009.