Japan Side Announced For Match in Dublin

Japan Rugby

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Japan have announced their team to face Ireland this Saturday at 1 pm in Dublin.

The side will play their first test against another country since the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final against South Africa.

Few changes have been made to the Japan team that played the British and Irish Lions for the first time ever.

Seven of the pack that faced off against the Lions start in Dublin.

Inagaki, Sakate and Koo line up in the front row with Wimpie Wan Der Walt and James Moore behind them in lock forward.

Captain Michael Leitch and Pieter Labuschagne are once again starting at flanker.

Last week’s try-scorer Kazuki Himeno comes into the starting XV at number eight, replacing Amanaki Mafi.

Naoto Saito comes into the side at scrum-half with the ever-reliable Yu Tamura beside him in the fly-half position.

Ryoto Nakamura and Timothy Lafaele will be the centre partnership for the second week in a row.

30-year-old Semisi Masirewa will start at 14 alongside Siosaia Fifita and Kotaro Matsushima.

Kaito Shigeno and Asaeli Ai Valu are among the players on the bench.

Japan Team v Ireland

15. Kotaro Matsushima (Clermont Auvergne)

14. Semisi Masirewa (Kinetsu Liners)

13. Timothy Lafaele (Kobelco Steelers)

12. Ryoto Nakamura (Suntory Sungoliath)

11. Siosaia Fifita (Kintetsu Liners)

10. Yu Tamura (Canon Eagles)

9. Naoto Saito (Suntory Sungoliath)

Forwards

1. Keita Inagaki (Panasonic Wild Knights)

2. Atsushi Sakate (Panasonic Wild Knights)

3. Ji-won Koo (Honda Heat)

4. Wimpie van der Walt (NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes)

5. James Moore (Munakata Sanix Blues)

6. Michael Leitch C (Toshiba Brave Lupus)

7. Pieter Labuschagne (Kubota Spears)

8. Kazuki Himeno (Highlanders)

Replacements

16. Kosuke Horikoshi (Suntory Sungoliath)

17. Craig Millar (Panasonic Wild Knights)

18. Asaeli Ai Valu (Panasonic Wild Knights)

19. Jack Cornelsen (Panasonic Wild Knights)

20. Tevita Tatafu (Suntory Sungoliath)

21. Kaito Shigeno (Toyota Verblitz)

22. Rikiya Matsuda (Panasonic Wild Knights)

23. Shane Gates (NTT Communications Shining Arcs)

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