New-look Japan set for upcoming test
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Japan new head coach Jamie Joseph has included 17 uncapped players in his 32-man squad for their November Test Series.
There are just 12 familiar faces from last year’s Rugby World Cup.
Japan's four-test campaign includes a tough encounter against Rugby Championship side Argentina on November 5 at home followed by three away matches in Europe which include the likes of Georgia, Wales and Fiji respectively.
In an interview with the Japan Times Joseph stated: "There are some players who are injured, who would have made the team," referring to the likes of prop Keita Inagaki and lock Hitoshi Ono, who remains stranded on 98 test caps.
"There are some players who have not been selected on current form and there are some who have made themselves unavailable, which is disappointing," he added.
In their absence come in a number of fresh faces ranging from 22-year-old No.8 Shuhei Matsuhashi, who has been in superb form for Black Rams, to Yamaha prop Satoshi Nakatani, who could win his first cap at the age of 35.
Shota Horie and Harumichi Tatekawa will co-captain the side that will travel to Europe following its clash with the Pumas to take on Georgia, Wales and Fiji.
"They have the right credentials. They are two of our best players, have got great leadership skills already, are captains of their company teams and know what the Japan jersey stands for,"
Forwards: Masataka Mikami, Satoshi Nakatani, Koki Yamamoto, Shota Horie, Takeshi Kizu, Takeshi Hino, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Heiichiro Ito, Yasuo Yamaji, Kotaro Yatabe, Samuela Anise, Kyosuke Kajikawa, Amanaki Lelei Mafi, Yuhimaru Mimura, Malgene Ilaua, Uwe Helu, Shunsuke Nunomaki, Shuhei Matsuhashi.
Backs: Fumiaki Tanaka, Yuki Yatomi, Takahiro Ogawa, Yu Tamura, Jumpei Ogura, Timothy Lafaele, Harumichi Tatekawa, Kotaro Matsushima, Akihito Yamada, Kenki Fukuoka, Lomano Lava Lemeki, Karne Hesketh, Amanaki Lotoahea, Yasutaka Sasakura
Source: Japantimes.co.jp & @JapanRugbyClub