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Sakura Sevens squad revealed for Rio Games


Chiharu Nakamura will captain the Japan women’s rugby sevens team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Japan Rugby Football Union announced Saturday, when the names of 12 team members and two backups were released.

The draw last month in Rio de Janeiro saw the Sakura Sevens pitted with Canada, Britain and host Brazil in Pool C, with the 12-team competition scheduled for Aug. 6-8.

Yuka Kanematsu will be the oldest of the 14 at the age of 34, while university students Mio Yamanaka and Mifuyu Koide will be the youngest at 20.

Led by head coach Keiko Asami, the women’s team booked its spot in Brazil after winning the Asia Rugby Seven Qualifying Tournament in November, when it defeated Kazakhstan 14-7 in the final.

The squad:

Yuka Kanematsu, Chiharu Nakamura (captain), Ayaka Suzuki, Ano Kuwai, Marie Yamaguchi, Makiko Tomita, Chisato Yokoo, Kana Mitsugi, Noriko Taniguchi, Yume Okuroda, Mio Yamanaka, Mifuyu Koide

Back-up members:

Aya Takeuchi, Keiko Kato