Wales, perhaps most affected by the Lions tour to Australia, took on Japan in boiling temparatures in Osaka on Saturday. They came away 22-18 winners with Dan Biggar kicking 14 points and Harry Robinson scoring a try in the second half.
Japan had the halftime lead following a try by New Zealand born flanker Michael Broadhurst, but Wales came back through Biggar and Robinson, and despite a late try to Yoshikazu Fujita, Wales got their eighth straight win against Japan.
Four new caps were selected, with Emyr Phillips, James King, Owen Williams, and 18-year-old Dafydd Howells all getting a chance to represent their country.
“It was vital that so many young guys started their Test careers with a victory, but we’re not going to say we’re just happy to win,” said Biggar post match.
“We’re disappointed with a poor first-half performance and that led to a nervous finish. We are not using the heat as an excuse but all that was on my mind after the game was shoving my head in a bucket of ice.”
It was Japan’s third straight loss, following defeats to Tonga and Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup.