Sunwolves chop and change for Stormers
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Sunwolves have made a number of changes to their side for their clash against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday.
Shokei Kin and Yoshitaka Tokunaga are replaced by Shuhei Matsuhasi and Malgene Ilaua in the back row, while Uwe Helu comes in the second row in place of Sam Wykes.
In the front row, Takuma Asahara, Takeshi Hino and Koki Yamamoto are chosen ahead of Yasuo Yamaji, Atsushi Sakate and Masataka Mikami.
In the backline, Riaan Viljoen replaces Yasutaka Sasakura at fullback, while Yu Tamura comes into the flyhalf position in place of Jumpei Ogura. The other change in the backline sees Kotaro Matsushima replacing Takaaki Nakazuru on the wing.
"We were not happy about our performance and a lot of things were not the way we wanted to represent ourselves, players, management so we will front up against the Stormers in Cape Town," says Sunwolves head coach Filo Tiatia.
"Stormers are a very good side. We played them early in the year in Singapore which was a close game and Robbie Fleck is a very good coach and they've got a lot of Springboks in the team.
"We are more concerned around our performance than worrying about the Stormers because we've got a lot of stuff we have to do in all facets of our play so we are really trying to concentrate on that."
"We just have to be better. We have competed well against a lot of teams especially the New Zealand teams like Highlanders and the Chiefs. We started the season against the Hurricanes where they scored a lot of points against us but we showed a lot of character and heart. We know that we can compete against some of the best teams in the world so we just have to be consistent about how we play and represent the jersey of the Sunwolves. We want to bounce back and earn some respect against us."
Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz (captain), 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Kotaro Yatabe, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Takeshi Hino, 1 Koki Yamamoto.
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Koo Jiwon, 19 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Jumpei Ogura.
Date: Saturday, July 8
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.30 (17.30 GMT; 02.30 Sunday, July 9 Japan Time)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), TBC
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)