Japan's Super stars challenge Wales

Thu, 06 Jun 2013 12:07
Fumiaki-tanaka-highlanders Shota-horie-rebels Fumiaki-tanaka-highlanders2 Shota-horie-rebels2
Wing at centre

Super Rugby stars Fumiaki Tanaka and Shota Horie will lead Japan's hopes when they take on Six Nations champions Wales in Osaka on Saturday.

Tanaka, who has impressed with the Highlanders, and Horie of the Rebels, will run out against a second-string Wales - whose top players are touring Australia with the British and Irish Lions.

Toyota Verblitz No.8 Takashi Kikutani will skipper a side featuring former Australian Rugby League international Craig Wing at centre, and New Zealand-born flank Michael Broadhurst.

Japan, coached by former Australia boss Eddie Jones, are hosting the World Cup in 2019 and have laid out plans to break into the top 10 nations within two years.

"The Japanese team can improve further," Tanaka said.

"I want to be in a team that can compete against the world," Tanaka added.

"By challenging a better team like Wales and by beating them, I want to lift the Japanese team to a higher level."

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

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: Kintetsu Hanazono Stadium, Osaka
Kick-off: 14.00 ( 09.00 GMT)
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Greg Garner (England), TBC (Japan)


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