Sunwolves bring in South African timber for Blues
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Sunwolves have made four changes to the team that will take on the Blues on Saturday in Tokyo.
Former Bulls lock Grant Hattingh returns to action and replaces Australian Sam Wykes as the only change to the starting XV.
Hattingh played for Western Province and Lions between 2009 and 2012 before heading to the Blue Bulls in 2013.
The 27-year-old made 46 Super Rugby appearance for the Bulls, before moving to Japan.
The other three changes in on the bench. Shintato Ishihara takes the place of the injured Keita Inagaki, who will be sidelined for four to six week due to a knee ligament injury he sustained during the Sunwolves' defeat to the Waratahs last weekend.
Regular captain Willem Britz has been named on the bench and replaces Australian Edward Quirk, while former Tongan international William Tupou takes the spot of Hosea Saumaki in the reserves.
Commenting on the Hattingh's return, head coach Jamies Joseph said: "Hattingh comes back this week. His fitness levels are on par and I think his skills will be beneficial for the Sunwolves this week,"
Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Lomano Lava, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare (captain), 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 James Moore, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Shintato Ishihara, 18 Nikoloz Khataishvili, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Willem Britz, 21 Fumaiki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 William Tupou.
Date: Saturday, April 14
Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 12.05 (15.05 NZ time; 03.05 GMT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Tasuku Kawahara (Japan)
TMO: Minoru Fuji (Japan)