Japan shuffle side for England clash


Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has rung the changes to his team for Saturday’s clash against England at Twickenham.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts were spirited in their 69-31 defeat to New Zealand a fortnight ago, but that hasn’t stopped Joseph from naming an almost entirely new backline.

William Tupou moves from outside centre to full-back, replacing Ryohei Yamanaka. Timothy Lafaele moves from 12 to 13, where he will line up alongside Ryoto Nakamura.

Akihito Yamada comes in on the wing to partner Kenki Fukuoka, while Fumikai Tanaka replaces Yutaka Nagare at scrum-half.

Meanwhile, in the forwards, there are plenty of changes too.

Skipper Michael Leitch will pack down alongside Kazuki Himeno and Masakatsu Nishikawa in the loose trio, while Uwe Helu will partner Wimpie van der Walt at lock.

Jiwon Koo will line up alongside Atsushi Sakate and Keita Inagaki in the front row.

[playbuzz-item item=”fe3449d5-ea72-49a5-a1a8-01f17ebbdf9c” info=”false” shares=”false” wp-pb-id=”135114″]

Japan: 15 William Tupou, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Masakatsu Nishikawa, 6 Michael Leitch (c), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Wimpie van der Walt, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Keita Inagaki
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Samuela Anise, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 22 Yutaka Nagare, 23 Rikiya Matsuda

Date: Saturday, November 17
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Dan Jones (Wales)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)