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Kirwan eyes scalps

Japan are targeting their matches against Canada and Tonga as important stepping stones in their bid to become a greater force in world rugby.

Coach John Kirwan, a former All Black, said while the pool match against his old team would be a 'special event' it was not the side's most important game.

He said: "England, France, the All Blacks are coming to win it [the World Cup]. Others are coming to make the quarter-finals. Our goal is to win at least two and to show the world how far we've come."

The side were adjusting to the change in climate and were enjoying the cooler temperatures in New Zealand.

"We need to be aware of the gain, but I don't think that weather will be a factor," he said.

With the tournament still over a week away from starting, Kirwan said the main aim was to get his side feeling at home. Japan's first game is against France at North Harbour Stadium on September 10.

"Socially, it's important to get away from the game. It can be intense, so organised events, local events are important to keep the balance," Kirwan said.

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