England vs Japan prediction and odds: Rugby World Cup 2023

The second weekend of the Rugby World Cup 2023 is here already, with both England and Japan getting out for the second matches of the tournament this Sunday. Both got good wins in their opening clashes, but this is where the rubber hits the road. Can Japan pull off another famous World Cup upset? Read on for our England vs Japan predictions.

England vs Japan prediction and odds
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England vs Japan – match predictions

England did well to navigate a tricky clash against Argentina last weekend, while Japan were always going to have an easier time against tournament-newcomers Chile. Who will remain unbeaten this weekend? Here are our top predictions ahead of the England vs Japan this weekend:

Prediction 1: Japan +22 handicap @ 11/10 (2.10)

Sadly, Japan are not currently the threat that they were at past World Cups. It’s been a few years now since the Brave Blossoms looked like giant-killers, and while England may not be giants right now, they proved against Argentina that they’re still decent rugby team. We expect an English win here, but back Japan to come within the handicap. 

Since the last Rugby World Cup, Japan have only lost by more than 22 points on two occasions. One of those was against England, but a much better England team than the one that will be fronting up on Sunday, so it’s unlikely we’ll see a repeat of that 53-12 score line.

Prediction 2: England to win 1-12 @ 3/1 (4.00)

For a higher returning but slightly more risky bet, back England to win this one by 1-12. The reality is, while England were comprehensive winners on the scoreboard against Argentina last weekend, they failed to score a try. Japan love to throw the ball around, and if England aren’t going to score tries, they may well win still, but it won’t be by a big margin.

England vs Japan preview: Can Japan handle the weight of expectation?

Heading into this match, here’s a look at how both teams’ tournaments have gone so far at the Rugby World Cup 2023:


Expectations of England heading into this World Cup were at an all-time low, considering the Red Roses just lost to Fiji at Twickenham a few weeks ago. However, they were mighty impressive in their opening fixture, defeating Argentina 27-10 despite being a man down for 77 minutes due to a red card. They’ll be pleased at how George Ford performed as well, and with Owen Farrell having another week remaining in his suspension, will need the pivot to kick just as well if they’re to get past Japan here.


It was a clinical performance for Japan against Chile in their opener, with the Brave Blossoms putting away the tournament’s newest edition 42-12 on Sunday. Overall it’s been a tougher few years for Japan since the last World Cup, however, with the side only picking up one win this year against Tonga, and losing to the New Zealand XV, Samoa, Fiji and Italy ahead of coming to France.

England vs Japan head to head

These two sides have met on eight previous occasions, with England leading the head to head 8-0. Japan have not scored more than 19 points in a match, and most recently England won a dominant 52-13 clash in November 2022.

England vs Japan match details

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About the author

Bren Gray

Bren is our resident Kiwi, and has been playing or watching sports down under in New Zealand for the better part of three decades. With 12+ years experience as a professional writer, Bren loves to dive deep into all things sport to bring the best betting analysis and breaking news here at Pundit Feed.