Japan make two changes for Scotland Test

Japan caretaker coach Scott Wisemantel has named his team to play Scotland at Murrayfield in a confident mood despite their hammering by the All Blacks last weekend.

Japan captain Toshiaki Hiroae has insisted that a maiden away win against a Top 10 nation was in their sights.

“It’s going to be fun playing in such a great stadium as Murrayfield,” Japan captain Toshiaki Hirose said in a Japan Rugby Football Union statement.

“I’m looking forward to showing everyone the ‘Japan Way’ of rugby and for us to make history and beat a Top 10 nation away from home for the first time,” the right wing added.

Japan, ranked 15th in the world to Scotland’s ninth, made three changes from the side beaten 54-6 by world champions in New Zealand in Tokyo last weekend.

Kosei Ono came in at fly-half after Harumichi Tatekawa pulled out of the European tour through injury.

The Brave Blossoms will also field a changed second row combination in Edinburgh, with locks Shinya Makabe and Luke Thompson replacing Shoji Ito and Hitoshi Ono.

“We want to move the ball and play at pace,” said stand-off Kosei Ono.

Apart from Hitoshi Ono dropping down to the bench, the one other change among the replacements saw Atsushi Hiwasa named as reserve scrum-half, after Kosei Ono had been asked to cover both half-back positions last weekend.

Japan, the 2019 World Cup hosts, are currently under the care of stand-in coach Scott Wisemantel for their four-match European tour.

Wisemantel took over after Japan head coach Eddie Jones, who guided his native Australia to the 2003 World Cup final and assisted Jake White in plotting South Africa’s success in the 2007 tournament, suffered a mild stroke last month.

After the Scotland match, Japan play English Premiership side Gloucester on November 12 and Russia in Colwyn Bay, Wales, three days later before rounding off their tour against Spain in Madrid on November 23.


Ayumu Goromaru; Toshiaki Hirose (capt), Male Sau, Craig Wing, Kenki Fukuoka; Kosei Ono, Fumiaka Tanaka; Ryu Koliniasi Holani, Michael Broadhurst, Hendrik Tui; Shinya Makabe, Luke Thompson; Kensuke Hatakeyama, Shota Horie, Masataka Mikami

Replacements: Yusuke Aoki, Yusuke Nagae, Hiroshi Yamashita, Hitoshi Ono, Takashi Kikutani, Atsushi Hiwasa, Yu Tamura, Yoshikazu Fujita

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