Japan side named for Autumn clash with Ireland in Dublin

Japan Rugby

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The Japan team to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for the first of Andy Farrell and co.’s Autumn Internationals has been named.

Flanker Lappies Labuschagné will lead his side out on Saturday as he wears the captain’s armband in the absence of Michael Leitch.

24-year-old Ben Gunter is set to make his debut for the national side at blindside flanker, with number 8 Kazuki Himeno in between the pair.

Keita Inagaki and Ji-Won Gu start at prop with hooker Atsushi Sakate completing the front row for the Brave Blossoms.

The second row is occupied by Jack Cornelsen and James Moore.

Yutaka Nagare and Yu Tamura make for an exciting half-back partnership, with Ryoto Nakumara and Timothy Lafaele only adding to that in the midfield.

The back three consists of Siosaia Fifita, Kotaro Matsushima and Dylan Riley, who lines up for his second cap for Jamie Joseph’s team.

Replacements for Japan includes the likes of Asaeli Ai Valu and Naoto Saito.

Eight members of the squad line out for the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan’s Top League, while 11 sides are represented in the matchday 23.

10 of those 11 sides will have players starting the game, including Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne, who employ Matsushima.

Japan team v Ireland 

  1. Keita Inagaki (Panasonic Wild Knights)
  2. Atsushi Sakate (Panasonic Wild Knights)
  3. Ji-won Gu (Honda Heat)
  4. Jack Cornelsen (Panasonic Wild Knights)
  5. James Moore (Munakata Sanix Blues)
  6. Ben Gunter (Panasonic Wild Knights)
  7. Lappies Labuschagné (C) (Kubota Spears)
  8. Kazuki Himeno (Highlanders)
  9. Yutoka Nagare (Suntory Sungoliath)
  10. Yu Tamura (Yokohama Canon Eagles)
  11. Siosaia Fifita (Hanazono Kinetsu Liners)
  12. Ryoto Nakamura (Suntory Sungoliath)
  13. Timothy Lafaele (Kobelco Steelers)
  14. Dylan Riley (Panasonic Wild Knights)
  15. Kotaro Matsushima (Clermont Auvergne)

Replacements

16. Yusuke Niwai (Yokohama Canon Eagles)

17. Craig Millar (Panasonic Wild Knights)

18. Asaeli Ai Valu (Panasonic Wild Knights)

19. Yoshitaka Tokunaga (Toshiba Brave Lupus)

20. Tevita Tatafu (Suntory Sungoliath)

21. Naoto Saito (Suntory Sungoliath)

22. Rikiya Matsuda (Panasonic Wild Knights)

23. Ryohei Yamanaka (Kobelco Steelers)

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