• Kyodo


Hitoshi Ono’s hopes of playing 100 test matches were restored Tuesday when he was recalled to the Brave Blossoms for the June tests, the Japan Rugby Football Union announced.

The 39-year-old lock, who has played 98 times for his country, was initially omitted from Jamie Joseph’s squad for matches against Romania (Saturday) and Ireland (June 17 and 24). But an injury to Suntory Sungoliath second row Shinya Makabe sees Ono rejoin the squad in Fukuoka ahead of the test with Romania in Kumamoto.

Ono’s inclusion is the second change enforced on Joseph after Yamaha Jubilo’s Yuya Odo replaced Kyosuke Kajikawa (Ono’s second-row partner at Toshiba Brave Lupus).

Joseph is expected to name his side for Saturday’s game at Egao Kenko Stadium on Thursday.

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