Japan out to uproot Wales’ plan

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 09:43
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has made four crucial changes ahead of their tough encounter against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Brave Blossoms head into this weekend's on the back of a 28-22 win over Georgia in Tbilisi.

But victory came at a cost with Lomano Lemeki, who scored two tries against Georgia, ruled out with a leg injury.

He has been replaced on the wing by Akihito Yamada, while Kenki Rukuoka takes Karne Hasketh's place on the other wing.

In the forwards, Samuela Anise comes in for Kotaro Yatabe at lock, with Kensuke Hatakeyama replacing Heiichiro Ito at tighthead prop.

"It's our strongest team even though we've got a lot of guys left at home but certainly from the players selected to come on tour, it's our strongest team," Japan coach Jamie Joseph told the BBC.

"I'm a realist and I know it'll be difficult but having said that, we've got a couple of plans and I think we can create some pressure," the former New Zealand international added.

"If we're able to do that the boys will score some tries and it's a funny thing sport and people do some funny things under pressure.

"Ideally we'll play an expansive game and score some tries.

"A lot of that comes from set-piece and that's the big area we've been working on this week and if we get some quick ball I'm confident we will score some tries,"

Japan: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Samuela Anise, 4 Kyosuke Kajikawa, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Satoshi Nakatani,
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Yuhimaru Mimura, 22 Keisuke Uchida, 23 Amanaki Lotoahea.

Date: Saturday, November 19
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT; 23.30 Japan time)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Source: Agence France-Presse