Japan U20 Squad Named for New Zealand Tour

Fresh off their three-match, clean sweep victory in this year’s Pacific Challenge, competing as the Japan XV, the 28-member Japan U20 National Team Squad has been announced for their upcoming tour of New Zealand. Taking place from 19 May to 1 June, the two-match tour against New Zealand Universities U20 will serve as an important warmup as the team prepares for the upcoming World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024 in Edinburgh, between 2-17 July.

This year’s tour follows NZU’s 2023 visit to Japan where the two sides faced each other at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo on May 27. In what was a tightly contested match, Japan U20 ran out eventual winners for a final score of 52-46. NZU will no doubt be looking to balance the ledger when they play host to Japan this year in Christchurch, on New Zealand’s South Island.

The first tour match will take place as a curtain raiser ahead of the Crusaders vs Blues Super Rugby Pacific match at Apollo Projects Stadium on Saturday, 25 May. Kick off will be at 16:35 local time ahead of the 19:05 start for the main match. Five days later, the two teams line up once again for the return match at the University of Canterbury on Thursday, 30 May for a 14:00 kick off.

Ahead of their departure, the squad will assemble for a pre-tour training camp in Chiba Prefecture from May 14 -18. An additional five players will join the squad in camp; however, they will not tour to New Zealand unless called upon as injury replacements.

Having gone undefeated in the Pacific Challenge, expectations will be high for the Japan U20 to put in two solid performances against NZU. With both fixtures officially practice matches, it will give the Japanese coaching team a chance to try different combinations and game plans without the pressure of being in a tournament situation.

The team will be looking to get the best preparation possible ahead of the World Rugby U20 Trophy in July. Having been relegated from the U20 Championship following last year’s tournament in South Africa, Japan will be hoping to put in a dominant performance as they seek promotion back to the top-level U20 competition in 2025.

Japan U20 2024 New Zealand Tour 28-Member Squad

PRJinnosuke MORITenri Univ.1771052004/1/14
PRSojiro OtsukaKansei Gakuin Univ.1781042004/7/5
HOKenshin SHIMIZUWaseda Univ.1781042004/12/27
HOHaruya KERAKAWAUCHITeikyo Univ.1741002004/9/15
PRTowa NUNOBIKITeikyo Univ.1801102004/11/17
PRYuta HATTAKyoto Sangyo Univ.1851122004/4/5
LOShuntaro ISOBETsukuba Univ.1901102004/7/14
LOChuka ISHIBASHIKyoto Sangyo Univ.190952004/4/10
LOYotaro MONOBEMeiji Univ.1911162004/9/28
LOAoi OMIYANihon Univ.1881002004/9/14
FLAoi OMIYANihon Univ.191842004/10/27
LOTomonosuke SHIROMARUTsukuba Univ.1851062004/12/14
FLKoki KAWAGOETenri Univ.180882004/5/23
FLKotaro OKAWAMeiji Univ.1871022004/4/24
NO8Daichi YOSHIKAWARitsumeikan Univ.181982004/4/13
NO8Ryoku MASUORissho Univ.1861172004/10/19
SHYamato MURATAKyoto Sangyo Univ.168692004/10/15
SHJoji TAKAKIKyoto Sangyo Univ.164702004/9/11
SH/SORieto ITOMeiji Univ.173742004/7/30
SORyunosuke ITOMeiji Univ.170762004/7/30
WTBKento IIOKATsukuba Univ.183832004/8/12
SOTakaya MOTOHASHITeikyo Univ.182862004/5/19
CTBTaisei NAGAISenshu Univ.179872004/11/13
CTBYamato UEDATeikyo Univ.180842005/3/8
WTBMirai KISHIKindai Univ.180852004/12/8
UtilityJingo TAKENOSHITAMeiji Univ.180832004/6/11
UtilityTasuku MASUYAMATsukuba Univ.177832004/4/14
FBYoshitaka YAZAKIWaseda Univ.180852004/5/12

Participants of pre-departure training camp (not scheduled to travel unless called up)

PRYugo IBUKIKeio Univ.175982005/7/31
HOYugo IBUKIKeio Univ.175952005/9/14
FLYoshiaki TAIANTenri Univ.176922004/4/2
SHTatsuki INOUETsukuba Univ.173752005/8/16
CTBDaigo MORIOTsukuba Univ.175812005/6/9