U20 Japan Squad Announced for World Rugby U20 Championships

Japan U20 Head Coach Rob Penney has today announced his 30-member squad for the upcoming World Rugby U20 Championships, taking place this year in South Africa from June 24 to July 14. Featuring the 12 highest ranked international U20 sides, the tournament returns to the international rugby calendar for the first time since 2019, following the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Japan have been drawn in Pool A alongside France, Wales, and New Zealand. France come into the competition as reigning champions, having won the last two tournaments, while New Zealand have won a record six of the 12 tournaments played since the competition’s inception back in 2008. Wales will also be a tough opposition as they look to put their disappointing last-place finish in this year’s U20 Six Nations Championship behind them.

The squad will depart Japan on June 18, ahead of their June 24 match against France in Stellenbosch, just outside Cape Town. They return to the same venue five days later to play Wales on June 29. The team then travel to nearby Paarl to take on New Zealand in their final pool match on July 4.

Japan come into the tournament with two wins from their last four matches, having defeated New Zealand Universities 52-46 last month in Tokyo and Tonga, 52-17 at the Pacific Challenge Cup 2023 in Samoa. Their two defeats came at the hands of Fiji, 72-15 and to their Pacific Challenge Cup hosts Samoa, 44-33. Off the back of these tough matches, the team will be looking to make strong start in South Africa, bringing their fast-paced, high-tempo attacking game to the tournament.

Commenting on the squad selection, Japan U20 Head Coach Rob Penney said:

“It’s fantastic that the tournament is up and running again, and congratulations to the players who’ve made the squad. It’s been a tough few years with the restrictions on social interaction and playing rugby in Japan, so it’s great to get back to normality. It’s a credit to this group of young men who have been selected to represent their nation and continue the proud history that the senior Brave Blossoms have developed.

“Our squad is made up entirely of university players who are still two years away from turning professional. They will play with heart, passion, and pride, all of which are hallmarks of our great game. Thank you to our hosts South Africa and to World Rugby for providing the opportunity and thank you to the volunteers and fans who we know will make this a truly great tournament.”


PositionName HeightWeightDOB
PR/HOHampei NISHINO1761022003/5/22
PRTomoki YUMBE1731002003/7/4
HOKouta NAGASHIMA1751022003/11/2
HOTakashi OMOTO1731002003/4/25
PRSena HWANG1801102003/2/3
PRRiku TOMITA1821152004/2/7
PRKosuke SUGIURA1771102003/12/22
LO/BRKantaro TAJIMA195982003/2/26
LO/BRYuzuki SASAKI1881062003/2/19
LO/BRRyotaro NOSE1971042003/7/28
LO/BRHarry WILLARD1901102003/11/8
LO/BRTomoki KUSUDA1841002003/6/2
BR/LOTenta KOBAYASHI1851002003/11/27
BR/LOBunsuke KURITA1831102003/12/18
BRKeito HAYASHI180982003/6/5
BRTaison MOGAMI1831042003/10/14
BRKoki MIYASHITA1851002003/12/22
BR/CTBToki TOSHIKAWA1811002003/8/2
SHAsahi DOEI170702003/1/9
SHYutaro TAKAHASHI172762003/11/18
SO/SHTaishin OHSHIMA170782003/7/14
SO/FBKanjiro NARAMOTO177842004/1/16
SO/CTBKengo NONAKA181932003/4/29
SO/CTBYoshiki OMACHI173822004/1/23
CTBShota TAIRA175872003/11/18
CTB/WTBGenki IKUTA170812003/6/26
WTBRenji OIKE173802003/12/5
FB/WTBKosho MUTO174822004/3/23
FB/WTBYoshitaka YAZAKI180842004/5/12
UTBRyohei IMANO184872003/11/17


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