Kirwan names Japan’s RWC squad

After Friday night’s 69-10 victory over the Asian Barbarians, coach John Kirwan named the Japan squad of 30 players for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

No.8 Takuro Miuchi is the captain of the team of 16 forwards and 14 backs.

Kirwan said: “We have a big responsibility for Asia, and a big responsibility for Japan,.

“Japan carries the dreams and hopes of a nation for whom rugby is about to explode. We need a great World Cup and we need the players to be great. If we can do that then we can rejoice in the success it can bring everyone.”

The pack contains three New Zealanders in Luke Thompson, Phil O’Reilly and Hare Makiri. Glen Marsh was an original choice till the International Rugby Board declared him ineligible. Ryota Asano takes Marsh’s place.

New Zealander James Arlidge will remain in Japan to carry on his rehabilitation for the leg he fractured in May, but will join up with the squad as a back-up player at the beginning of September.

Luatangi Samurai Vatuvei and Nataniela Oto are both naturalised Japanese. Flyhalf, 20-year-old Kosei Ono, went with his parents to New Zealand when he was eight.

Only two of the backs were at the 2003 World Cup – Daisuke Ohata and Hirotoki Onozawa

There are two uncapped players – Kim Chul Won and Yuta Inose who have been part of Japan’s high peformance academy.

Kirwan said: “Our strengths are our agility, strength and intelligence.

Japan have two more warm-up matches – against Italy in Aosta on 18 August and against Portugal on 25 August.

Japan squad: Ryo Yamamura (Yamaha Motor Jubilo), Mitsugu Yamamoto (Sanyo Wild Knights), Tomokazu Soma (Sanyo Wild Knights), Takshiro Sigiura (Fukuoka Sanix Blues), Yuta Inose (NEC Green Rockets), Yuji Matsubara (Kobe Steel), Tatsukichi Nishiura (West Red Sparks), Masahito Yamamoto (Toyota Motor Verblitz), Taku Inokuchi (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Takanori Kumagae (NEC Green Rockets), Luatangi Samurai Vatuvei (Kintetsu Liners), Luke Thompson (Kintetsu Liners), Takuro Miuchi (captain) (NEC Green Rockets), Yasunori Watanabe (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Hajime Kiso (Yamaha Motor Jubilo), Hare Makiri (Fukuoka Sanix Blues), Philip O’Reilly (Sanyo), Takamichi Sasaki (Suntory Sungoliath), Yuki Yatomi (Yamaha Motor Jubilo), Tomoki Yoshida (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Chul-won Kim (Kintetsu Liners), Eiji Ando (NEC Green Rockets), Kusei Ono (Fukuoka Sanix Blues), James Arlidge (NTT Docomo Kansai), Shotaro Onishi (Yamaha Motor Jubilo), Nataniela Oto (Toshiba Brave Lupus), Yuta Imamura (Kobe), Koji Taira (Suntory Sungoliath), Bryce Robins (Ricoh Black Rams), Daisuke Ohata (Kobe), Hirotoki Onozawa (Suntory Sungoliath), Kosuke Endo (Toyota Motor Verblitz), Christian Loamanu (Saitama Institute of Technology), Go Aruga (Suntory Sungoliath), Ryota Asano Inose (NEC Green Rockets),

Coach: John Kirwan.


365 Digital

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