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Japan name squad for Autumn Nations Series campaign

Japan name squad for Autumn Nations Series campaign

Japan name squad for Autumn Nations Series campaign

Jamie Joseph has named a 40-man squad for Japan’s Autumn Nations Series campaign.

The Brave Blossoms face England at Twickenham on Saturday November 12 and France on Sunday November 20 in two critical Test matches ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Atsushi Sakate captains a Japan squad containing 22 forwards and 18 backs, and has a blend of experience and youth, with 23 of the 40 players having fewer than 10 caps, but legendary back row Michael Leitch also selected.

The two matches in Europe will end a busy few months for the Brave Blossoms, having taken on Australia ‘A’ in a three-match series as well as pushing New Zealand all the way in a 38-31 defeat in Tokyo last weekend.

National Team Director Yuichiro Fuji said: “Following our three matches against Australia A, we identified issues and areas that needed improvement.

Japan

“We were then able to challenge the All Blacks in Tokyo, pushing them all the way, right to the final whistle.

“While the result was disappointing, the players fought bravely and showed their skills.

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“We are now aiming to reach a higher level in Europe against England and France, growing in strength and building even closer bonds amongst the group as we prepare for next year’s World Cup.”

Japan squad for Autumn Nations Series: 

FORWARDS:

Keita Inagaki (43 caps), Yusuke Kizu (5), Craig Millar (7), Jiwon Gu (19), Shuhei Takeuchi (2), Shogo Miura (9), Atsushi Sakate (Captain – 31), Takeshi Hino (5), Kosuke Horikoshi (5), Daichi Akiyama (1), Wimpie van der Walt (20), Yuya Odo (5), Naohiro Kotaki (11), Jack Cornelsen (10), Warner Dearns (5), Kanji Shimokawa (1), Pieter Labuschagne (13), Masato Furukawa (3), Michael Leitch (76), Tevita Tatafu (13), Kazuki Himeno (23), Faulua Makisi (5)

BACKS:

Kaito Shigeno (16 caps), Naoto Saito (9), Yutaka Nagare (28), Hayata Nakao (0), Takuya Yamasawa (5), Seungsin Lee (4), Yusuke Kajimura (2), Shane Gates (4), Shogo Nakano (5), Ryoto Nakamura (31), Dylan Riley (8), Gerhard van den Heever (4), Siosaia Fifita (10), Koga Nezuka (1), Kotaro Matsushima (45), Ryuyi Noguchi (14), Taira Main (1), Ryohei Yamanaka (25)

Japan Autumn Nations Series fixtures: 

Saturday November 12: England vs Japan (Twickenham) – Kick-off: 3:15pm GMT

Sunday November 20: France vs Japan (Stadium de Toulouse) – Kick-off: 3pm GMT

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