Everything happens earlier in Super Rugby next year in changes that SANZAAR hopes will make the faltering product more successful in the Australian marketplace.
South Africa post a comfortable 41-7 victory over Japan in their final Rugby World Cup warm-up match, laying down a tournament marker and gaining revenge for defeat four years ago.
Both sides have described the match in the World Cup host city of Kumagaya as "tournament preparation", but the events in Brighton four years ago have dominated the build-up.
Siya Kolisi has been named in a strong Springbok squad to face Japan in a World Cup warm-up match.
Luke Thompson will play at a fourth Rugby World Cup after being included in hosts Japan's squad for the tournament.
Six weeks out from hosting the Rugby World Cup, Japan enjoyed a timely confidence boost by winning the Pacific Nations Cup against the United States.
Japan need to find a replacement for competing in Super Rugby following Sunwolves' expulsion if they are to become a major rugby power, former Brave Blossoms coach Eddie Jones has said.
Japan captain Michael Leitch has accused some top tier nations of wanting to keep high level rugby to themselves, after the Sunwolves were told they would be cut from Super Rugby after the 2020 season.
The Sunwolves secured their first ever road win in stylish fashion downing the Chiefs 30-15 in Hamilton to end their 23-match losing run away from home.
The fixture will afford the Springboks a further opportunity to conditions in Japan, where the team has never previously played.
England coach Eddie Jones said his team needed a change in attitude to turn around Saturday's test against Japan.
Despite trailing at halftime, England found their try-scoring form in the second half to get the better of Japan at Twickenham.
Can Scotland build on their home run against South Africa? And will England's second-string side impress against Japan? ESPN assesses the biggest talking points and players to watch.
Joe Cokanasiga will make his England debut against Japan on Saturday as Eddie Jones made 11 changes to the side that started in the defeat to New Zealand last weekend.
George Kruis has been ruled out England's remaining November fixtures as head coach Eddie Jones named his squad to face Japan this weekend.
Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has revealed his squad are paid just £13 day as they prepare to face England on Saturday.
A fired-up Eddie Jones says his England side will be "absolutely ruthless" and aiming to "physically smash" Japan when the teams meet on Saturday.
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- JPN11thTries Scored 1st New Zealand : 25 Tries ScoredNZL1st925
- JPN10thPoints Difference 1st New Zealand : 125 Points DifferenceNZL1st-2125