Japan could soon be playing for a place at rugby's top table as a Brave Blossoms outfit with "a lot to offer" prepare to take on the Wallabies amid talk of an expanded Rugby Championship.
The Wallabies will return to the scene of their heartbreaking 2019 World Cup exit when they face Japan next month in a precursor to November's Spring Tour.
Dave Rennie's side will face Japan at Oita Stadium on October 23, the same venue in which Australia bowed out of the last World Cup in a 40-16 defeat to England.
The Wallabies' clash with Japan marks their first meeting since November 27, when the Australians prevailed 63-30 in Yokohama, and just the seventh Test between the two nations in history.
It adds to a hectic Test campaign for the Wallabies, who are midway through their Rugby Championship campaign leading into a clash against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday night.
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The Wallabies have already played seven Tests this year - three against both France and New Zealand, and one against the Springboks. They will meet South Africa once more, and Argentina twice, before heading to Japan.
"There's so much water under the bridge to go yet. In terms of seeing a lot more of the Blossoms, I think it would be great," Hooper said.
"I think Japan rugby has got a lot to offer. They're a team that obviously had a great 2019 World Cup, played some fantastic rugby and got a lot of really good players up there.
"Obviously watching them from afar and being involved in there, they're players that love rugby, a team that wants to grow and develop and is all ears to what they can learn and what they can experience.
"For them, getting into playing teams more regularly is a real positive for rugby, particularly in the southern hemisphere. I'm really excited by the opportunity to go up there and it may become a significant fixture for us each year, so be it, that's great."
The Oita match serves as the Wallabies' final hitout before travelling to Edinburgh to kick off their Spring Tour against Scotland at Murrayfield on November 7.
Rennie's squad will close out the campaign with games against England at Twickenham on November 13, and Wales at Millennium Stadium on November 20 [local times].
"We're really looking forward to squaring off against Japan. They showed everyone at the World Cup in 2019 that they are a top nation and can match it with the best," Rennie said.
"Jamie [Joseph] and Tony [Brown] have built a formidable squad that plays a really exciting, up-tempo style. We need to continue to test ourselves with this variety of play, so this is an important match for us as we continue to build ahead of the next World Cup in France.
"It's been a really big year already for our squad with some starting back in February for Super Rugby AU so we will have to continue to manage the lads over the next month or two and into the Spring Tour in the UK."
The match will mark almost two years to the day since Japan last played international rugby at home, having bowed out in the 2019 World Cup quarter-finals at the hands of South Africa.
"The opportunity to play a test match on home soil, against a team the quality of Australia, is a hugely important moment for us to reconnect with our fans and the wider Japanese public, following the success of the 2019 World Cup," Brave Blossoms coach Joseph said.
"The Wallabies are a strong team, with quality players throughout their squad, like Japan, they look to play an exciting brand of fast, attacking, running rugby.
"The match will be a great opportunity for us to play our style of rugby against a side that brings something different to the Test matches we have played in recent years.
"Both Japan and Australia will be heading onto Europe following the match, so both teams we will be looking to make the best possible start to their upcoming tours."
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