Ryohei Yamanaka Called into World Cup Squad as Injury Replacement

Following Japan’s 34-12 loss to England in their Pool D match at Rugby World Cup, the JRFU have announced the call up of specialist fullback, Ryohei Yamanaka to Japan’s World Cup squad. This follows the injury sustained by Semisi Masirewa in the early stages of the match which resulted in the fullback leaving the field for the remainder of the fixture.

The 29 test cap Yamanaka is currently playing in the UK with the Barbarians, along with several other Japanese players. He will come into the squad match-fit after having played last Saturday against the Scarlets in Wales, and in earlier matches against the Northampton Saints and Bristol Bears. While the Barbarians enjoyed solid victories in their opening two fixtures, beating Northampton 12-48 and Bristol 26-52, they were on the other side of the score sheet against the Scarlets, going down 33-19.

Having been in the UK for the last few weeks, Yamanaka is already acclimatised to European conditions and will not have to adjust to the seven hour time difference he would have faced had he joined the squad directly from Japan.

Following their match against England at Stade de Nice, the Brave Blossoms returned to the familiar surroundings of their Official Base Camp in Toulouse to prepare for their must win match against Samoa at Stadium de Toulouse on Thursday, 28 September. Japan’s final Pool D match will be against Argentina on Sunday, 8 October at Stade de la Beaujoire, in Nantes.

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