Japan announces training squad for Rugby World Cup

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has named a 42-man squad ahead of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup and Rugby World Cup on home soil.

Michael Leitch will again captain the side, and is one of 12 survivors from the team that became the first to win three pool matches at the showpiece tournament and not qualify for the quarter-finals in England four years ago.

Of the 15 players that started the famous 34-32 victory against South Africa in Brighton in 2015 only seven retain a chance of playing in a home Rugby World Cup.

EDITORS PICKS:

Leitch, who scored Japan’s first try that day, is joined in the extended training group by Kotaro Matsushima, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hendrik Tui, Luke Thompson, Shota Horie and Masataka Mikami. Keita Inagaki, Hiroshi Yamashita, Amanaki Lelei Mafi and Yu Tamura, who came off the bench against the Springboks, are also included.

Should Thompson – the oldest player in the squad at 38 – make Joseph’s final 31-man Japan 2019 squad then he would be in line to appear at a fourth Rugby World Cup.

Japan squad

Keita Inagaki, Yusuke Kizu, Jiwon Koo, Isileli Nakajima, Masataka Mikami, Hiroshi Yamashita, Koki Yamamoto, Asaeli Ai Valu, Takuya Kitade, Atsushi Sakate, Shota Horie, Kosuke Horikoshi, Samuel Anise, Luke Thompson, Grant Hattingh, Wimpie van der Walt, Uwe Helu, James Moore, Hendrik Tui, Yoshitaka Tokunaga, Shunsuke Nunomaki, Michael Leitch (captain), Pieter Labuschagne, Kazuki Himeno, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Amanaki Lelei Mafi, Kaito Shigeno, Fumiaki Tanaka, Yutaka Nagare, Yu Tamura, Rikiya Matsuda, Kenki Fukuoka, Ataata Moeakiola, Lomano Lava Lemeki, Yusuke Kajimura, William Tupou, Ryoto Nakamura, Timothy Lafaele, Kotaro Matsushima, Jamie Henry, Ryuji Noguchi, Ryohei Yamanaka.

PICK YOUR WORLD RUGBY XV:

%d bloggers like this: