• Kyodo


Japan interim coach Mark Hammett on Thursday named his side for the upcoming tests against Scotland at Toyota Stadium.

The starting XV shows six changes from the team that started last week’s 26-22 win over Canada in Vancouver with five of them coming in the pack.

Captain Shota Horie returns to the side at hooker, veteran lock Hitoshi Ono, who will win his 97th cap, is recalled and there is an all new back row in Hendrik Tui, Shokei Kin and Amanaki Lelei Mafi.

“I want to make this a good building step toward the 2019 World Cup. And of course it’s our aim to win the match,” said Horie.

The one change in the backs has Kaito Shigeno starting in place of Fumiaki Tanaka at scrumhalf.

With Horie back in the run-on XV, Takashi Kizu drops to the bench, while Hiroki Yamamoto and Keisuke Uchida are promoted to the match-day squad, with Yoshiya Hosoda suspended for two games and Tanaka injured.

Scotland was the only side to beat Japan at last year’s Rugby World Cup and the Brave Blossoms are missing a number of players who featured in the tournament as the result of injury or retirement.

But Horie said the two-test series was just what his side needed.

“It’ll be a good challenge to see how much we can compete with our new type of rugby.”

“We’re at a point of starting to build things up. There’s no single game to waste.”


Japan squad:

1. Keita Inagaki

2. Shota Horie (c)

3. Kensuke Hatakeyama

4. Hitoshi Ono

5. Naohiro Kotaki

6. Hendrik Tui

7. Shokei Kin

8. Amanaki Lelei Mafi

9. Kaito Shigeno

10. Yu Tamura

11. Yautaka Sasakura

12. Harumichi Tatekawa

13. Tim Bennetts

14. Mifiposeti Paea

15. Kotaro Matsushima


Reserve bench:

16. Takeshi Kizu

17. Masataka Mikami

18. Shinnosuke Kakinaga

19. Kotaro Yatabe

20. Hiroki Yamamoto

21. Keisuke Uchida

22. Kosei Ono

23. Rikiya Matsuda

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