Top League Profiles 2017-18: NEC Green Rockets
Top League Profiles 2017-18
NEC Green Rockets
2017-18 Introduction: In the 2016-17 season, NEC Green Rockets finished tenth overall on the final Japan Rugby Top League table on 30 points with 6 wins, one draw and 8 losses.
Inconsistency again cost NEC last season as they finished well down the table for yet another year. There has been a significant turnover in player personnel during the off-season in an effort to put some steel back into the Green Rockets. Noticeable losses include the international halfback pairing of Kaito Shigeno and Yu Tamura, but that leaves the door open for the next generation to step up to the mark. Senior players in the squad including captain and prop Sunao Takizawa, loose forwards Taro Kenji and Yoshiya Hosoda, Wallabies No8 Scott Higginbotham, centre Shindo Kamaike and wing Teruya Goto will have to set the standard this season if the Green Rockets are to improve on last season’s showing. New Zealander Peter Russell is in his second year as head coach at NEC and will have the task of uniting his squad to produce more wins than losses this season.
The Coach: New Zealand-born Peter Russell is in his second year as head coach at NEC in the 2017-18 season.
The Captain: Prop Sunao Takizawa is the captain at NEC for the 2017-18 season.
The 2017-18 Squad: (45) the list starts with captain and vice-captains and then continues through forwards and backs in order from props to fullbacks.
Sunao Takizawa (c). Forwards: Yuta Inose, Ryu Sioapelatu Holani, Takahiro Doi, Hikaru Tanaka, Mao Enoki, Toshiaki Maejima, Kento Imura, Yosuke Usui, Shin Kawamura, Teppei Akiyama, Yo Sato, Taku Hirosawa, Lee Jin-Seok, Ryunosuke Yamada, Shoji Tanaka, Sanaila Waqa, Lepuha Latuila, Taro Kenji, Yoshiya Hosoda, Tatsuru Owada, Rikiya Oishi, Ryoi Kamei, Takumi Matsumura, Scott Higginbotham and George Risale. Backs: Lee Myung-Jun, Tomonori Kimura, Kodai Kameyama, Shigeki Morita, Shindo Kamaike, Yosuke Morita, Maritino Nemani, Jordan Payne, Ryosuke Kanemura, Koichi Matsuura, Sho Yamazaki, Amanaki Savieti, Yuki Miyamae, Teruya Goto, Sho Takenaka, Hiroyuki Miyajima, Ryuta Iiyama, Hiromasa Yoshihiro and Yuki Takahira. Coach: Peter Russell (54).