Lions: Japan Side Announced For Murrayfield Clash

Japan Rugby

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Japan have announced their side for Saturday’s Murrayfield warm-up test, the 1888 Cup, against the British and Irish Lions.

Click here for the Lions side, which now includes Justin Tipuric and Tadhg Furlong in the starting XV.

Head Coach Jamie Joseph has named a strong side for his side’s first test since their Rugby World Cup 2019 quarter-final loss to South Africa.

Michael Leitch captains the side as he did for their defeat to South Africa and will start at blindside flanker.

His opposite for their most recent test, Pieter Labuschagne, will don the number 7 shirt for the side.

10 players in total who started the Brave Blossoms’ last game will start at Murrayfield.

Keita Inagaki and Koo Ji-Won start on either side of hooker Atsushi Sakate, who replaces the multi-faceted Shota Horie.

Wimpie Wan Der Walt and James Moore are in the second row with Amanaki Mafi in the number eight position.

30-year-old Kaito Shigeno and Yu Tamura fill the scrum-half and fly-half positions.

Centres Ryoto Nakamura and Timothy Lafaele occupy the midfield while 22-year-old Siosaia Fifita gets the nod at 11 alongside Kataro Matsushima and fullback Ryohei Yamanaka.

Super Rugby Aotearoa Rookie of the Year Kazuki Himeno is on the bench with Asaeli Ai Valu and others.

Japan Team To Face British and Irish Lions:

Backs

15. Ryohei Yamanaka (Kobelco Steelers)

14. Kotaro Matsushima (Clermont Auvergne)

13. Timothy Lafaele (Kobelco Steelers)

12. Ryoto Nakamura (Suntory Sungoliath)

11. Siosaia Fifita (Kintetsu Liners)

10. Yu Tamura (Canon Eagles)

9. Kaito Shigeno (Toyota Verblitz)

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. Amanaki Mafi (Canon Eagles)

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. Kazuki Himeno (Highlanders)

21. Tevita Tatafu (Suntory Sungoliath)

22. Naoto Saito (Suntory Sungoliath)

23. Rikiya Matsuda (Panasonic Wild Knights)

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