• Kyodo


Japan interim coach Ryuji Nakatake named his side Thursday for Saturday’s Asia Rugby Championship game against Hong Kong.

The 15 that will take the field at the Hong Kong Football Club shows four changes from the side that started last week’s big win over South Korea in Yokohama.

The four changes are all in the pack with Kanta Higashionna getting the nod at loosehead prop, Naohiro Kotaki being promoted from the bench to second row, Tsuyoshi Murata getting a run at blindside flanker and Shokei Kin being handed the No. 7 jersey.

There are no changes in the backline, which scored 12 of Japan’s 13 tries as it opened this year’s tournament with an 85-0 win.

Hong Kong is coached by Leigh Jones, who served as an assistant to Eddie Jones with the Brave Blossoms at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

The curtain raiser for the game will be a women’s test between the two countries. The women’s Asia Rugby Championship is a two-team affair this year after Kazakhstan pulled out at the last minute.

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