Joseph Makes Changes for All Blacks Clash
TOKYO (Nov. 1) – Japan coach Jamie Joseph has named his 23-man squad to take on the All Blacks on Saturday at Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Stadium, the venue of the opening game of Rugby World Cup 2019.
Michael Leitch will lead a side that shows three changes and one positional switch from he side that lost 31-28 to a World XV in Osaka last Friday.
In the pack, Atsushi Sakate is promoted frm the bench and will pack down between Keita Inagaki and Hiroshi Yamashita, who will win his 50th cap for his country, in the front row.
Wimpie van der Walt and Samuela Anise once again pair up in the second row with Leitch, No. 8 Hendrik Tui and Kazuki Himeno, who returns from injury to play at openside flanker, in the back row.
The changes in the backs result from an injury to wing Lomano Lava Lemeki.
Ryohei Yamanaka comes in at fullback with Jamie Henry moving to the wing with the back three completed by flyer Kenki Fukuoka.
Yutaka Nagare and Yu Tamura pair up at halfback with Timothy Lafaele and William Tupou in the centers.
Yusuke Niwai swaps positions with Sakate and is joined on the bench by props Masataka Mikami and Asaeli Ai Valu.
Uwe Helu and Isileli Nakajima are the two other back-up forwards with Fumiaki Tanaka, Rikiya Matsuda and Ryota Nakamura the reserve backs.
Following Saturday’s game in Tokyo, the Brave Blossoms fly to England to take on England and Russia in London and Gloucester, respectively.