Eddie Jones announces Japan side to face Wales
Japan coach Eddie Jones has called in Super Rugby players Fumiaki Tanaka and Shota Horie into his side to face Wales in Osaka on Saturday.
The pair who play for the Highlanders and Rebels respectively haven’t featured for Japan in their recent outings in the Asian Cup and IRB Pacific Nations Cup.
Japan again completed a clean sweep of the Asian Cup in May to again take the title but have begun the Pacific Nations Cup tournament with two defeats on the bounce to Tonga and Fiji.
They face Wales in two-tests over the next fortnight and Toyota Verblitz No.8 Takashi Kikutani will lead a side that also includes former Australian Rugby League international Craig Wing at centre and New Zealand born flanker Michael Broadhurst.
Jones announced his squad today and said it is the strongest team available.
“It’s a great honour for us to face Wales who are ranked 5th in the World and are European Champions,” said Jones.
“And we have picked our strongest available team.
“Obviously Wales have a group of players away with the British and Irish Lions but they have real depth to their rugby and that’s proven by their improvement of their Under 20 team in the past few seasons.
“We are playing a young Wales side who are looking to make their name.
“Wales have picked the biggest team they can and they have spoken about being physical and dominating the set piece and we know where the challenge will be.
“We play rugby differently to any team in the world. We pass the ball a lot more and play quicker rugby. We will want to move the ball around.
“We are looking forward to playing our game against one of the best teams in the world.”
Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani (captain), 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shoji Ito, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Yusuke Nagae, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 20 Ryuta Yasui, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Hirotoki Onozawa
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