Nagare to lead Japan at ARC

TOKYO (April 10) – Uncapped scrumhalf Yutaka Nagare will lead Japan at the Asia Rugby Championship, head coach Jamie Joseph announced Monday.

Nagare will skipper a 37-man squad that contains 16 uncapped players at the tournament that sees the Brave Blossoms play South Korea and Hong Kong on a home-and-away basis.

“It’s a big squad because some of the players are currently injured or reconditioning after a big work load with the Sunwolves starting straight after the Top League,” Joseph said.

Nagare has recently been part of the National Development Squad and Joseph said the leadership he and prop Shintaro Ishihara (the squad’s vice captain) had shown during the camp had resulted in the uncapped duo being honoured with leadership roles.

The duo have a number of experienced players to help them out including Akihito Yamada, Kotaro Yatabe, Kazuhiko Usami and Keisuke Uchida – who led Japan in last year’s ARC.

The squad contains a mix of non-travelling members of the Sunwolves, the Junior Japan side that came second in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge and players who impressed during the recent Top League season.

“We want to continue the development of Japanese rugby,” said Joseph. “The results so far speak for themselves. We had one win in the November tests and the Sunwolves have had one so it suggests we haven’t quite got the right players yet. With the Sunwolves, the Pacific Challenge and the ARC we can observe three teams and pick the best players for the June tests (against Romania and Ireland) when we will have one eye on the now and one eye on preparing for 2019.”

Hooker Kosuke Horikoshi, who led Junior Japan in the Pacific tournament is one of five students included in the squad, while flyhalf Takuya Yamasawa also gets a call-up following his impressive debut season in the Top League.

“We have to make sure we always have the next wave of players coming through,” Joseph said.

As to the type of rugby he wanted his side to play, the former All Black and Japan international said. “I want us to play attacking rugby. Playing conservatively won’t help us in the future.”

Japan open their ARC campaign in Incheon, South Korea on April 22 before returning home to play the Koreans and Hong Kong in Tokyo on April 29 and May 6, respectively. They wrap up the Asian tournament in Hong Kong on May 13.


Position Name Club Team Graduate cm kg D/O/B Caps
PR1  Kohei ASAHORI TOYOTA Verblitz Teikyo Univ. 185 120 1994/2/3
PR1   Shintaro ISHIHARA (Vice Captain) SUNTORY Sungoliath Meiji Univ. 181 105 1990/6/17
PR1  Shogo MIURA Tokai Univ. Akita Technical HS 180 108 1995/6/8 3
HO  Atsushi SAKATE PANASONIC Wild Knights Teikyo Univ. 180 104 1993/6/21 4
HO  Takeshi HINO YAMAHA Jubilo Doshisha Univ. 172 100 1990/1/20 2
HO  Kosuke HORIKOSHI Teikyo Univ. Toin Gakuen HS 174 105 1995/6/2
PR3  Genki SUDO SUNTORY Sungoliath Meiji Univ. 173 110 1994/1/28
PR3 Yu CHINEN TOSHIBA Brave Lupus Juntendo Univ. 184 125 1990/11/18 3
PR3  Takayuki WATANABE KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steelers Tokai Univ. 180 120 1994/5/27 6
LO Samuela ANISE CANON Eagles Fiji Institute of Technology 198 118 1986/8/30 4
LO  Kazuhiko USAMI PANASONIC Wild Knights Ritsumeikan Univ. 197 117 1992/3/17 9
LO  Yuya ODO YAMAHA Jubilo Ritsumeikan Univ. 188 104 1990/3/9
LO  Naohiro KOTAKI TOSHIBA Brave Lupus Teikyo Univ. 194 110 1992/6/13 7
LO  Kotaro YATABE PANASONIC Wild Knights Kokushikan Univ. 190 107 1986/7/29 9
LO/FL  Yoshiya HOSODA NEC Green Rockets Nihon Univ. 192 100 1987/8/5 1
FL Malgene ILAUA TOSHIBA Brave Lupus Teikyo Univ. 187 105 1993/6/5 4
FL  Naoki OZAWA SUNTORY Sungoliath Keio Univ. 182 103 1988/10/8
FL  Shokei KIN NTT COMMUNICATIONS Shining Arcs Waseda Univ. 177 95 1991/10/3 6
FL  Shuhei MATSUHASHI RICOH Black Rams Meiji Univ. 180 99 1993/11/24 3
FL/No.8  Yoshitaka TOKUNAGA TOSHIBA Brave Lupus Kwansei Gakuin Univ. 185 100 1992/4/10
FL No.8  Daiki YANAGAWA RICOH Black Rams Osaka Univ. Of Health And Sport Sciences 191 108 1989/2/19


Position Name Club Team Graduate cm kg D/O/B Caps
SH  Keisuke UCHIDA PANASONIC Wild Knights Univ. of Tsukuba 179 86 1992/2/22 21
SH  Kaito SHIGENO NEC Green Rockets Daito Bunka Univ. 170 75 1990/11/21 3
SH Yutaka NAGARE (Captain) SUNTORY Sungoliath Teikyo Univ. 166 71 1992/9/4
SO  Jumpei OGURA NTT COMMUNICATIONS Shining Arcs Waseda Univ. 172 80 1992/7/11
SO  Takuya YAMASAWA PANASONIC Wild Knights Univ. of Tsukuba 176 81 1994/9/21
SO/CTB  Ryoto NAKAMURA SUNTORY Sungoliath Teikyo Univ. 178 92 1991/6/3 8
SO/CTB/FB  Rikiya MATSUDA PANASONIC Wild Knights Teikyo Univ. 181 92 1994/5/3 3
CTB Kanta SHIKAO Tokai Univ. Higashi Fukuoka HS 177 88 1995/9/6
CTB  Ryohei YAMANAKA KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steelers Waseda Univ. 188 95 1988/6/22 7
CTB/WTB Amanaki LOTOAHEA RICOH Black Rams Hanazono Univ. 191 107 1990/4/14 4
WTB  Chikara ITO YAMAHA Jubilo 龍Ryukoku Univ. 173 80 1990/1/11
WTB  Akihito YAMADA PANASONIC Wild Knights Keio Univ. 182 88 1985/7/26 18
WTB/FB  Shota EMI SUNTORY Sungoliath Gakushuin Univ. 180 95 1991/12/8
WTB/FB Seiya OZAKI Teikyo Univ. Fushimi Technical HS 174 85 1995/7/11
WTB/FB  Shinya MORITA KOBE STEEL Kobelco Steelers Kyoto Sangyo Univ. 170 73 1994/10/15
FB  Ryuji NOGUCHI Tokai Univ. Tokai Univ. Gyosei HS 177 86 1995/7/15 4