Japan

Hirose to lead Blossoms

Thu, 13 Jun 2013 09:20
Japan630

Toshiaki Hirose has returned to the Japanese starting line-up and will lead them against Wales in the second Test in Tokyo on Saturday.

Hirose missed out on the first Test where Japan narrowly lost to Wales and hopes that he can be the difference in the second Test.

Hirose is the only change in the starting XV from the first Test and continuity seems to be the key in this Test series.

There are three changes on the bench as Shinya Makabe comes onto the bench in place of Toshizumi Kitagawa. Justin Ives takes the No.20 jersey from Ryuta Yasui and one of last weeks try-scorer Yoshikazu Fujita takes Hirotoki Onozawa's place on the bench.

The Japanese players were very vocal prior to the first Test and were incredibly close to causing an upset but the Welsh managed to just hold them off. This week, the Japanese will want to go one better and break Wales' winning streak.

Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Toshiaki Hirose (captain), 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani, 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 Shinya Makabe, 20 Justin Ives, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Yoshikazu Fujita.

Date: Saturday, 15 June
Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 14.00 (05.00 GMT)
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), tba (Japan)

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