GLOUCESTER, England, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Japan were forced to come from behind to scrape a narrow 32-27 win over Russia at the Kingsholm Stadium on Saturday in a meeting between the two countries who will kick off next year’s World Cup.
Japan, who had chosen a youthful side for their last international of the year after impressing against England at Twickenham last weekend, outscored the Russians four tries to two but were behind going into the final 10 minutes.
Captain Michael Leitch scored two tries for Japan with Kenki Fukuoka and Hendrik Tui also dotting down while Vladimir Ostrushko and Stanislav Selskiy went over for the Russians, who also saw Yury Kushnarev contribute 11 points with the boot.
Japan play Russia at the Tokyo Stadium on September 20 in the first game of the 2019 World Cup. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Tony Lawrence)